Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Boraginaceae, Borage or Forget-Me-Not Family

The Boraginaceae is also called the Borage or Forget-me-not Family. This family is represented by a variety of growth forms including, forb/herbs, shrubs and trees. The family is still under taxonomic review. Some authors break the family several smaller families; Boragenaceae, Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Lennoaceae and Hydrophyllaceae.

Common Characteristics: Plants with alternate or opposite leaves. Leaves mostly with linear or narrow profiles; leaf margins smooth or toothed. Leaves are characteristically pubescent with coarse straight, stiff hairs (strigose) and/or bristly, generally very prickly to handle. Some species may cause contact dermatitis producing a rash and itching in some people;

Flowers: Flowers are bisexual and some species are dioecious. In Boraginaceae, pollination usually takes place with the assistance of insects of the Order Hymenoptera which includes the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. Corollas have a variety of showy combinations from bell-shaped to tubular; corolla and calyx mostly with 5 petals and 5 stamen. The pistil has 1 style with 2 stigma; flower color also varies and includes shades of white, yellow, orange, pink, purple and blue. Flowers mostly with 5 petals. Inflorescence characteristically coiled or helicoid often scorpioid.

According to The Plant List, the Boraginaceae has 155 genera containing over 2,686 accepted species names. In North America there are 42 genera and 563 accepted taxa overall.

updated 03/12/2020
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 03/12/2020)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 03/12/2020).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Boraginaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 March 2020, 17:49 UTC, [accessed 12 March 2020]