Boraginaceae - Borage Family
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Members of the Boraginaceae family are generally herbs, often covered with bristly hairs. The flowers are radially symmetrical, often borne along one side of branches or at the tip of the stem, in a spirally coiled inflorescence that unwinds as the flowers mature. There are 5 sepals, united at the base into a calyx, 5 petals, united into a corolla, which consists of a narrow tube and an abruptly flared top, called the limb. The flowers have 5 stamens and 1 style. There are often small appendages (fornices) on the insides of the petals near the point where the tube and limb join. All these parts are attached near the base of the ovary.
The leaves are simple, usually alternate and bristly-hairy.
The fruit is usually a dry capsule that separates into 4 hard, seed-like sections (nutlets). In a few species the fruit is a berry.
The family has about 100 genera and 2,000 species worldwide and is well developed in Western U.S., especially in drier habitats.

 
 
Guide to Identify Presented Species of the Borage Family
FLOWERS BLUE, WITH SPREADING LOBES
Asperugo procumbens - Madwort
Stems weak, scrambling, 4-angled, with backward prickles. Disturbed areas.
Flowers blue, in leaf axils and forks of branches, 2-3 mm long and wide.
Leaves thin, spoon-shaped, rough-stiff-hairy and bristly-hairy on the edges.
Myosotis asiatica - Mountain Forget-me-not
Stems hairy, 5-30 cm tall. Moist, open sites, montane to alpine zone.
Flowers bright blue, 4-8 mm wide, with an inner, small, yellow ring.
Leaves alternate, lance- to spoon-shaped, tapered to the stalks and stiff-hairy.
FLOWERS BLUE, NODDING, BELL-SHAPED
Mertensia ciliata - Mountain Bluebells
Stems numerous, 15-100 cm tall. Moist to wet areas, foothills to subalpine.
Flowers blue, nodding, 10-17 mm long, numerous in open, branched, clusters.
Leaves alternate, elliptic to egg-shaped, with tapered bases.
FLOWERS WHITE OR BLUE-WHITE
Buglossoides arvensis - Corn Gromwell
Stems 10-70 cm tall, short-stiff-hairy. Fields, roadsides, disturbed sites.
Flowers white, 5-8 mm long, 2-4 mm wide, without "eye", from upper leaf axils.
Leaves alternate, numerous, narrow, 1.5-6 cm long.
Lappula occidentalis - Western Stickseed
Stems simple or branched, 5-40 cm tall, short-stiff-hairy. Mostly dry areas.
Flowers white, 2-4 mm long and 1.5-2.5 mm wide, with yellow eye.
Leaves numerous, up to about 6 cm long and 1 cm wide, stiff-hairy.
FLOWERS YELLOW
Lithospermum incisum - Narrow-leaved Gromwell
Stems 5-30 cm tall, with flat, stiff, short hairs. Dry, open plains and foothills.
Flowers bright yellow, 15-30 mm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, lobes with ragged edges.
Leaves mostly on upper stem, 2-6 cm long and 2-6 mm wide.
REDDISH-PURPLE FLOWERS, TALL, COARSE PLANTS
Cynoglossum officinale - Hounds-tongue
Coarse, softly long-hairy plant, 30-80 cm tall. A weed in disturbed sites.
Flowers reddish-purple, numerous on many long, 1-sided, spreading branches.
Leaves alternate, elliptic to lance-shaped.
Symphytum officinale - Comfrey
Robust, stiff-hairy plant, 30-120 cm tall, stems clustered. Disturbed sites.
Flowers purple or dull blue, nodding, about 15 mm long, narrowly bell-shaped.
Leaves large, up to 30 cm long, the bases extended down the stem.
Alphabetical listing with links to presented species of the Borage family:
     
Scientific Name English Name Swedish Name
 

 

 
Asperugo
Buglossoides
Cynoglossum
Lappula
Lithospermum
Mertensia
Myosotis
Symphytum
Madwort
Gromwell
Hounds-tongue
Stickseed
Gromwell
Bluebells
Forget-me-not
Comfrey
Paddfötter
Stenfrön
Hundtungor
Piggfrön
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Stenfrön
-
Fjärvor
-
Förgätmigejer
Vallörter
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