Habit and leaf form. Herbs; without essential oils. Autotrophic. Annual. Leaves basal and cauline. Plants with a basal concentration of leaves. Mesophytic. Leaves small to medium-sized; alternate and opposite (opposite below); subsessile and sessile (subsessile in basal rosette); non-sheathing, or sheathing (shortly sheathing in basal rosette); not gland-dotted; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades dorsiventral, or isobilateral; entire; flat; linear to lanceolate; ovate, or obovate, or oblong; cross-venulate. Mature leaf blades adaxially pubescent; abaxially pubescent. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Urticating hairs absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. Inflorescences simple. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose (coiled at first). Inflorescences terminal; of 1 or 2 erect scorpioid cymes, flowers loosely spaced; not pseudanthial. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate; bracteolate; regular; 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present, or absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx imbricate, or open in bud, or valvate. Degree of gamosepaly, maximum length joined/total calyx length to 0.3. Calyx neither appendaged nor spurred; persistent; accrescent. Calyx lobes elliptic, or ovate. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; appendiculate (with a corona of papillose scales from the throat protecting the nectar); gamopetalous; lobed. Corolla lobes about the same length as the tube. Corolla imbricate, or contorted; tubular; regular; glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially; blue. Corolla lobes oblong. Fertile stamens present. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 5. Androecial members unbranched; adnate (to the corolla); all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5. Staminal insertion in the throat of the corolla tube. Stamens all inserted at the same level; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; filantherous (to subsessile). Anthers dorsifixed to basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate; appendaged. The anther appendages mucro-like. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 4 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular (4-lobed); 2 locular (‘really’, but rarely ostensibly so), or 4 locular (ostensibly, via false septa). Locules secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium median; stylate. Styles 1; simple; from a depression at the top of the ovary; ‘gynobasic’. Stigmas 1; capitate. Placentation axile to basal. Ovules differentiated; 2 per locule (i.e. per true locule), or 1 per locule (per cell, the gynoecium separating into one-ovuled portions); horizontal to ascending; epitropous; non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit aerial; non-fleshy; hairy; spinose (on margins); a schizocarp. Mericarps 4; comprising achenes, or comprising nutlets, or comprising drupelets. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight, or curved.
Special features. Corolla tube straight.
Etymology. Combination of the names of genus Omphalodes and genus Lappula; the nutlets are intermediate in character between the two genera.