The Boraginaceae is a large family of around 2,000 species from at least 100 genera. The family is represented by annuals, biennials, monocarpic and polycarpic perennials, some shrubs and a few trees. Many are easily recognized by the five lobed calyx, hairy leaves, and scorpioid cyme. They are found in every continent except Antarctica. Most are pollinated by bees, and in gardens act as bee "magnets", producing copious amounts of nectar.
Many familiar genera are found in this family such as Borago, Myosotis, Pulmonaria, Echium, and Anchusa. Many of the species have practical uses in organic gardening or herbal medicine, while others are an easy source of "blue" for the garden. Many will naturalize if given the opportunity, some even beings pests, while others are well behaved slow growers that make excellent long term garden plants. Most do not even come close to being even vaguely considered "bulbs", but a few species in a few genera do qualify under the stipulations on the What is a "Bulb"? page by either possessing underground storage organs or by exhibiting a marked dormancy either in winter or summer.
|Genera of Boraginaceae|
The genus Romanzoffia may also be included in this family within the proposed subfamily Hydrophylloideae, but is otherwise considered part of the Hydrophyllaceae.