Boraginaceae(redirected from borage family)
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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.
REFERENCESPopov, M. G. “Burachnikovye.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 19. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV