Tasmanian flora contains 5 native and about 15 introduced species
of the worldwide family, Boraginaceae. All of these are herbs, and
they occur in a wide range of habitats. The species have entire, alternate
leaves and flowers with five sepals and a 5-lobed, fused corolla.
In most species the flowers are radially symmetrical, but in Echium
species the corolla is asymmetrical.
One common and distinctive feature of the family is the one sided
cymose inflorescence - this is an elongate, spike-like structure
that has flowers only on one side. It unrolls like a fern frond.
The family includes some common
weeds (such as Echium lycopsis Pattersons Curse). Borago
officionalis (Borage) is unusual within the Boraginaceae in that
the flowers resemble Solanum (with a wide spreading fused corolla
and exserted stamens forming a cone around the style).