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A family of flowering plants in the order Lamiales comprising mainly herbs and some tropical trees.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of dicotyledonous plants. Plants of the Boraginaceae family are herbs or, more rarely, semishrubs, shrubs, lianas, or trees. The plants are usually edged with coarse hairs. The blossoms with double perianths are usually gathered into tendrils; more rarely, they are single. In the throat of the corolla in many Boraginaceae there are scales or other appendages which protect the nectar from rain. The fruit of Boraginaceae is fractional, dividing upon maturation into two or four nutlike parts; in some Boraginaceae the fruit is drupelike or, very rarely, a boll. The family includes about 100 genera and over 2, 000 species, which are distributed over the entire globe and are especially abundant around the Mediterranean Sea and in western North America. There are more than 350 species in the USSR. Some Boraginaceae are used in medicine—for example, medicinal comfrey and hound’s-tongue (Symphytum and Cynoglossum respectively). Others are known as highly valuable honey- and nectar-bearers—for example, lungworts, of the genus Anchusa, and viper’s bugloss (Echium). Some species of comfrey are cultivated as food plants; borage is a vegetable; one species of alkanet is a dye plant; forget-me-nots and Peruvian heliotrope are ornamental plants; stickseed, or German alyssum, and many other Boraginaceae are classified as weeds; representatives of the genera Cynoglossum, Heliotropum, and others may poison cattle who eat them. Many tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs of the Boraginaceae provide valuable lumber and sometimes edible fruits and medicinal substances.


Popov, M. G. “Burachnikovye.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 19. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is a member of the borage family and likes a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
It belongs to the borage family, many of which have blue flowers, though its flowers are an interesting purple-blue and encased in grey calyces.
CAROL Pulmonarias belong to the borage family – all very useful.
This plant belongs to the borage family (boraginaceae), and is close cousins with comfrey, borages and other symphtums.
Unsurprisingly, the two are related - members of the borage family, with the same dimpled centre shared by many borages and giving one of them its common name: navelwort.