Plants in the borage family are annual or perennial herbs, often with rough, stiff hairs. The leaves are usually arranged alternately, are usually simple, and often have entire (untoothed) margins. The flowers are arranged in a helicoid cyme, an array that beings coiled up like a fiddlehead and then uncurls and straightens as the flowers open. The flowers are usually actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) or nearly so, and usually have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. The 5 sepals and 5 petals usually attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The sepals are persistent in fruit and often continue to grow after the rest of the flower has died. The petals are fused together at the base and often form a tube. The 5 stamens grow from the tube formed by the petals. There are 1 or 2 stigmas. The fruit is a schizocarp that usually splits into four segments that resemble seeds. Species formerly placed in the Hydrophyllaceae are now included here.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key