Hirsute or hispid annual or biennial branching herbs, with alternate entire leaves, and showy blue flowers, in terminal loose leafy racemes. Calyx deeply 5-cleft or 5-parted. Corolla rotate, the tube very short, the throat closed by scales, the limb 5-lobed, the lobes imbricated, acute. Stamens 5, inserted on the corolla-tube; filaments dilated below, narrowed above into a slender appendage; anthers linear, erect, and connivent into a cone. Ovary 4-divided; style filiform. Nutlets 4, ovoid, erect, attached by their bases to the flat receptacle, the scar of attachment large, concave. [Middle Latin, hurra, rough hair, alluding to the foliage.]

Three species, natives of the Mediterranean region, the following typical.

1. Borago Officinalis L. Borage

Fig. 3549

Borago officinalis L. Sp. Pl. 137. 1753.

Stem erect, branched, 1°-21/2° high, the branches spreading or ascending. Leaves oblong to obovate, acute or obtuse at the apex, 2'-5' long, narrowed into margined petioles, or the upper smaller, ovate-lanceolate, sessile or partly clasping; flowers 8"-10" broad, pedicels rather stout, 1 1/2'-2' long, spreading or recurving; calyx-segments lanceolate, nearly erect in fruit; corolla bright blue, the lobes ovate-lanceolate; the cone of anthers darker, about 3" long; nutlets 2" high.

In waste places, escaped from gardens, Nova Scotia to Ontario and Pennsylvania, but probably not persistent within our range. Native of southern Europe. June-Sept.

1 Borago Officinalis L Borage 220