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Genus Echium Family Boraginaceae

Description: Annual to perennial herbs, usually with coarse, spreading hairs.

Leaves on stems alternate, basal leaves in a rosette; sessile or petiolate.

Inflorescence terminal, scorpioid cymes, bracteate; flowers sessile, in 2 rows. Sepals often unequal, fused at the very base. Corolla zygomorphic, funnel-shaped, often with scales at about the level of the ovary. Stamens 5, unequal, at least some exserted; anthers lacking an appendage, on distinct filaments, often exserted beyond the throat of the corolla. Ovary 4-lobed; style exserted beyond the stamens; stigma bilobed.

Fruit of 4 beaked mericarps splitting from a low gynobase.


Photo © ANBG

Herbarium
Sheet

Distribution and occurrence: World: 40 species, Europe, Mediterranean & Africa. Australia: 4 species (naturalised), all States.

Echium species are declared noxious weeds in certain shires of N.S.W.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Stem leaves with cordate baseEchium plantagineum
Stem leaves not cordate at base2
2Flowers blue with 4 stamens exserted; hairs on inflorescence whiteEchium vulgare
Flowers cream to yellow with 5 stamens exserted; hairs on inflorescence yellowish
                       Back to 1
Echium italicum

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