Family Boraginaceae (sometimes separated in Ehretiaceae).
Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; deciduous. To 30 m high. Mesophytic. Leaves medium-sized; alternate; spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades entire; elliptic, or ovate, or obovate, or linear; pinnately veined (to arcuate, or veins oblique); cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire, or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in corymbs, or in panicles. Inflorescences simple, or compound (cymes sometimes forming a panicle). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; cymose, sometimes spiciform or capitate. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate, or ebracteate; minute to small; regular; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed; campanulate, or tubular; regular; persistent; accrescent (inflated and enclosing the fruit), or non-accrescent. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; imbricate, or valvate; campanulate, or tubular; regular; green to yellow, or white to cream, or pink. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 5. Androecial sequence not determinable. Androecial members adnate (epipetalous); all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; becoming exserted, or remaining included; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; all alternating with the corolla members. Anthers versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil usually 2 celled, or 4 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular (often 4-lobed); 2 locular (morphologically), or 4 locular (ostensibly, by false septa). Locules secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium median; stylate. Styles 1; forked; apical; becoming exserted, or not becoming exserted. Stigmas 2; 2–4 - lobed; capitate (or elongate). Placentation basal. Ovules 1 per locule, or 2 per locule; pendulous, or ascending; non-arillate; hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (yellow, orange or red). The drupes with separable pyrenes (these one- or two seeded). Fruit 1–2 seeded. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic.
Etymology. After Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–70), born in Germany, but worked in England; one of the most distinguished botanical artists of the 18th century.