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Family: Boraginaceae (forget-me-not and borage family)

[= Hydrophyllaceae]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > unassigned to order

About 148 genera and 2740 species, widespread in temperate and tropical regions of the world, with 17 genera and 107 species native to southern Africa, an additional four genera and 17 species that are naturalised, and an additional six genera and 17 species that are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Retief (2000).

Afrotysonia

Three species, all African, two of which are native to southern Africa.

Anchusa

About 35 species, native to Europe, North Africa and west Asia. Two species are native to southern Africa and one is naturalised in the region.

Codon

Two species, endemic to southern Africa: Codon royenii and Codon schenckii. Previously placed in the Hydrophyllaceae

 

Coldenia

Coldenia procumbens is native to southern Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). See Flora of Zimbabwe.

 

Cordia (saucer-berry genus)

About 250-300 species, native to tropical regions, with 12 species native to southern Africa and a further six species that are cultivated in the region.

Cynoglossum

About 75 species, native to temperate and subtropical regions, with 11 species native to southern Africa, one species that is naturalised in the region, and a further species that is cultivated in the region.

Echiostachys

Three species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Echium

About 60 species, mainly on Madeira, the Azores and Canary Islands but also native to Africa and Asia. One species is native and two species are naturalised in southern Africa.

Ehretia

About 75 species, native to the tropics, with seven species native to southern Africa and a further species that is cultivated in the region.

Heliotropium

About 250 species, native to tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions, with 18 species native to southern Africa, four species naturalised, and one species that is cultivated in the region.

Hilsenbergia

[= Bourreria]

Two species native to southern Africa (specifically Mozambique) - Hilsenbergia orbicularis and Hilsenbergia petiolaris. See Flora of Mozambique.

Lappula

About 50 species, native mainly to temperate Europe and Asia, North America and Australia, but with one species, Lappula capensis, native to southern Africa. Lappula heteracantha is naturalised in the region.

Lithospermum

About 45 species, native mainly to temperate regions, with seven species native to southern Africa.

Lobostemon

Twenty-nine species, endemic to Northern, Western and Eastern Cape.

Lobostemon belliformis (Eight-day-healing-bush)
Myosotis (Forget-me-not genus)

About 50 species, worldwide but mainly in temperate regions of the Old World, with three species native to southern Africa, three species naturalised, and a further two species that are cultivated in southern Africa.

Trichodesma

About 45 species, native to tropical and subtropical regions from Africa to Asia and Australia, with five species native to southern Africa.

Wellstedia

Three of the four species are native to Somalia, Socotra and Ethiopia. The other species, Wellstedia dinteri, is native to southern Africa.

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

Amsinckia

About 15 species, native mainly to Central America. Amsinckia calycina and Amsinckia menziesii have become naturalised in southern Africa.

Buglossoides

The 15 species are native to Europe and Asia. Buglossoides arvensis is a naturalised species in southern Africa.

Phacelia

About 150 species, native mainly to western North America. Phacelia artemisioides is native to Argentina and has become naturalised in southern Africa (Free State and Eastern Cape). Phacelia was previously placed in the Hydrophyllaceae.

 

Rochelia

About 20 species, native to Eurasia. Rochelia disperma naturalised in the Western Cape.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). The species name is provided in genera that have only one species represented in southern Africa.

Argusia argentea

Native from tropical Africa through to the Pacific.

 

Borago officinalis (Borage)

Believed to be native to the Middle East but ocurs naturally in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Grown as a garden herb. The leaves and flowers are used more for decorating drinks (e.g. gin) and food (e.g. salads) than for consumption. Flowers are sometimes crystalised and used to decorate puddings and cakes. Oil is extracted from the seeds and used as a dietary supplement (termed "starflower oil") because it contains very high levels (21%) of unsaturated gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an essential fatty acid.

Omphalodes linifolia

Indigenous from Portugal to France.

 

Moltkia petraea

Indigenous from Serbia to Greece.

 

Mysotidium hortensia (Chatham Island forget-me-not)

Native to New Zealand.

 

Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.
  • Martins, E.S. 1990. Boraginaceae. Flora zambesiaca 7: 59–110.
  • Martins, E.S. 1993. Boraginaceae. Flora de Moçambique 112: 1–75.
  • Retief, E. 2000. Boraginaceae. Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 178-183. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Retief, E. & Van Wyk, A.E. 1997. Palynology of southern African Boraginaceae: the genera Lobostemon, Echiostachys and Echium. Grana 36: 271–278.
  • Verdcourt, B. 1991. Boraginaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1–124.  

 


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