Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Boraginaceae
Borago officinalis

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 137 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Borage.

Annual shrubs to 80 cm high, much-branched and larger branches usually hollow, covered with coarse spreading hairs with the larger ones developing a broad base; leaves opposite or densely clustered and subpetiolate at the base becoming soon alternate and sessile, with a cuneate base with decurrent clasping ears, oblanceolate, elliptic to lanceolate, 4-20 x 2-7 cm, acute or obtuse, covered with coarse and fine hairs above but the hairs mainly restricted to the veins on the undersurface.

Inflorescence terminal, with few to many scorpioid cymes, with bracts usually much smaller than the leaves, with pedicels 1.5-4 cm long; sepals connate up to one-third of their length; lobes linear-triangular, 0.8-1.5 cm long and scarcely increasing after flowering, pointed; corolla rostrate, with petals connate and spreading beyond the short 'tube, bright-blue to indigo or rarely white, 12-18 mm long, glabrous except in cups formed by scales in the throat which alternate with 5 columns; stamens with anthers black, oblong-lanceolate, 6-7 mm long, and with a short pointed appendage; ovary 4-lobed, with a style inserted near the base, 5-7 mm long, terminating in an indistinct stigma.

Mericarps oblong-obovoid to almost cylindrical, with a vertical keel over the top, rugose, pale- to dark-brown.

image of FSA3_Borago_off.jpg Flowering branch, opened flower and mericarp in three views.
Image source: fig. 533A in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Hegi (1927) Illustrierte Flora von Mittel-Europa 5, 3:t. 220.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NL, MU, SL, SE.   W.Aust.; N.S.W.: Vic.   Native to mainly southern Europe but widely cultivated as a culinary herb.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct. — Dec.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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