Family of th week : BORAGINACEAE

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satish phadke

Apr 3, 2008, 11:17:33 AM4/3/08
to indiantreepix, wildflowerindia

In India chiefly in temperate and alpine Himalayas ahd drier parts of southern,western and northern India.
Members : Generally annual or perennial herbs.Some are trees and shrubs (Ehretia and Cordia)
Flowers of these herbs are a favourite with butterflies,bees and other insects.Milkweed butterflies are seen on these plants,which yield essential alkaloids (necessary for butterfly reproduction) to them Leaves :
simple, mostly entire, and alternate; stipules are lacking. In most species pubescent and hairy.
Inflorescence and flowers : Usually characteristic dorsiventral terminal axillary or leaf opposed cincinus inflorescences which consists of one or more coiled scorpoid or helicoid cymes that become uncoiled as the flowers open.Rarely flowers are solitary.
Flowers :
bisexual and actinomorphic, hypogynous pentamerous.
Calyx :
Five distinct or connate sepals. Calyx generally persistent.
Corolla : Five fused petals.Shape variable -rotate,salverform,funnelform or tubular. Often small appendages in throat.
Androecium :
5 distinct stamens adnate to the corolla tube or perigynous zone and alternate with the corolla lobes.
Gynoecium : consists of a single compound pistil of 2 carpels, a single, often gynobasic style, and a superior, often deeply 4-lobed ovary with 4 locules, each containing a single basal-axile ovule. An annular nectary disk is sometimes present.
Fruits and seeds :
4 1-seeded nutlets or a 1-4-seeded nut or drupe.
Flowers are adapted for insect pollination
Pericarp of the fruit is covered with barbed or hooked bristles -animal dispersal.
Examples :
Species of several genara grown as ornamentals: Heliotropium(Heliotrops),Cynoglossum(Hounds tongue),Myosotis(Forget-me-nots),Borago(Borage),Pulmonara(Lungwort)
Ehretia Levis : wood useful. अजान वृक्ष
Ehretia aspera : common in Western ghats.
Heliotropium indicum (Indian turnsole) and
Trichodesma indicum (Indian borage) are most familiar herbs.
Cordia sebestena
: Common ornamental garden tree.
Cordia dichotoma
: Bhokar (भोकर)


J.M. Garg

Apr 3, 2008, 10:59:52 PM4/3/08
to satish phadke, indiantreepix
Here are some more details from Wikipedia link:

Boraginaceae Juss. 1789, the Borage or Forget-me-not family, includes a variety of shrubs, trees, and herbs, totaling about 2,000 species in 100 genera found worldwide. A number of familiar plants belong to this family.

The Boraginaceae belong, according to the APG II, among the euasterid I group including the orders Gentianales, Lamiales, and Solanales, but whether they should be assigned to one of these orders or to their own (Boraginales) is still uncertain. Under the older Cronquist system they were included in the Lamiales, but it is now clear that they are no more similar to the other families in this order than they are to families in several other asterid orders. The Boraginaceae are paraphyletic with respect to Hydrophyllaceae and the latter is included in the former in APG II system. In some recent classifications the Boraginaceae are broken up into several families: Boraginaceae s.s., Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, and Lennoaceae.

Most though not all members of this family have hairy leaves. The coarse character of the hairs is due to Silicon dioxide and Calcium carbonate. In some species, Anthocyanins cause the flowers to change their color from red to blue when aging. This is likely used as a signal to pollinators that these old flowers are depleted of pollen and nectar (Hess, 2005).

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