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Symphytum L.
Sp.Pl. 1:136 (1753)

Name Status: Not Current

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Boraginaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs; without essential oils. Autotrophic. Perennial. Leaves basal, or cauline. Plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves; to 0.05–5 m high. Helophytic, or mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves medium-sized; alternate, or alternate and opposite (then opposite below); petiolate (lower leaves), or subsessile to sessile (upper leaves); non-sheathing; not gland-dotted; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades dorsiventral, or isobilateral; entire; flat; linear to lanceolate; ovate, or obovate; cross-venulate. Mature leaf blades adaxially pubescent; abaxially pubescent. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire (always?). 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; not pseudanthial. Flowers ebracteate; bracteolate; small; 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 0.25. Calyx persistent. Calyx lobes triangular. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; appendiculate (with a corona of 5 scales from the throat protecting the nectar); gamopetalous; lobed. Corolla lobes markedly shorter than the tube. Corolla imbricate, or contorted; tubular; regular; inconspicuously hairy abaxially, or glabrous abaxially; scales hairy adaxially (with marginal papillae), or glabrous adaxially; violet, or blue. Corolla lobes triangular, or orbicular. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 5. Androecial members unbranched; adnate (to the corolla); all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5. Staminal insertion midway down the corolla tube. Stamens remaining included; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous. Filaments appendiculate, or not appendiculate. Anthers dorsifixed to basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. 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; from a depression at the top of the ovary; ‘gynobasic’; becoming exserted. Stigmas 1; 1 - lobed. Placentation axile to basal. Ovules differentiated; 2 per locule (i.e. per true locule), or 1 per locule (per cell, when the gynoecium separating into one-ovuled portions); horizontal to ascending; epitropous; non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit aerial; fleshy, or non-fleshy; a schizocarp. Mericarps 4; comprising nutlets. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight, or curved.

Special features. Corolla tube straight.

Etymology. From the Greek for "growing together of bones" and "plant". It was reputed to heal broken bones.