BORAGINACEAE - The Borage Family

This is a family of around 2000 species, occurring mainly in Europe and Asia, especially in the Mediterranean region. Most of them are herbs, although there are some woody plants. Most of them are grown as ornamental plants, although some are a source of dye or have medicinal uses. The most well-known members of the Family include Forget me Not (Myosotis), Heliotrope (Heliotropium), the Comfreys (Symphytum), Borage (Borago), and Hound's Tongue (Cynoglossum).

Characteristics of this Plant Family:

Leaves, Stem & Roots ~ The stems are usually covered in rough hairs, as are the leaves and inflorescence. The leaves are generally alternate, simple and entire, without stipules.

Flowers ~ The flowers are borne in a characteristic coiled inflorescence (crozier), the lower ones opening first. There are five sepals, free or joined at the base, and a five-lobed corolla which may be tubular or salver-shaped. There are often scales or hairs at the base or mouth. The flowers are usually regular, or sometimes irregular as in Echium, and usually bisexual, although the female flowers are frequently borne on separate plants. There are five stamens attached to the corolla. The flower colour may be pink, purple, yellow or white, but is predominantly blue.

Seeds ~ The ovary is superior, and the fruit is either four nutlets or a drupe.

(Click here for more information and examples of seedpods in this Family.)

Members of this Family usually have:

Blue flowers in a coiled inflorescence
Hairy stems and leaves
No stipules
Four seeds

and are usually annual or perennial herbaceous plants

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