Borage family – Boraginaceae

There are 24 species belonging to the borage family reported from Corfu and some of the most common are presented below. The species belonging to this family are herbs or small shrubs with bristly stems and leaves.

2 or 3 species from this genus are reported from Corfu. The flowers are funnel shaped with spreading lobes. A difficult genus.

Alkanna corcyrensis
A species reported to be found only in the Ionian Islands and in south Albania. It is a perennial plant growing on limestone rocks and it is commonly found on dry stone walls in Corfu.

Alkanna tinctoria – Dyer’s alkanet
This is a low growing species found on dry uncultivated ground or on sand dunes in coastal areas.

ANCHUSA – Alkanet
The plants in this genus have long funnel-shaped flowers with the throat closed by scales or hairs. 2 species recorded from Corfu.

Anchusa undulata ssp hybrida
This annual, or sometimes biennial, species is found on dry grounds, such as sandy coasts, olive groves and on cultivated land.

2 species reported from Corfu.

Anchusella (Anchusa) cretica
A common annual plant growing along roadsides and on cultivated land.

BORAGO – Borage
The funnel-shaped flowers have a very short tube and spreading lobes, which gives the flower a star-like appearance. 1 easily recognised species found in Corfu.

Borago officinalis – Borage
Borage is an annual plant found in dry and sunny places, often growing close to old house ruins. The plant has a long tradition as a salad herb and it has also been used for flavouring drinks and as a medicinal plant and it is therefore possible that it is not native to Corfu but have been  introduced here.

A genus with funnel-shaped or tubular flowers with spreading petals. The flowers have 5 hairy strings inside the corolla tube. 1 species reported from Corfu.

Buglossoides (Litospermum) purpurocaerulea – Purple gromwell
The purple gromwell is a perennial found in woodland margins and among shrubs.

CERINTHE – Honeyworths
The leaves of the plants belonging to this genus are generally smooth and the two upper leaves are clasping the stem. The flowers are long and funnel-shaped without hairs or scales in the throat. 1 (3) species grows in Corfu.

Cerinthe major – Honeywort
A common annual plant found along roadsides, on cultivated land and field margins in early spring.

Cerinthe retorta – Violet honeywort

CYNOGLOSSUM – Hound’s tongue
The plants in this genus have funnel-shaped flowers with the throat closed by scales. 2 species reported from Corfu.

Cynoglossum cherifolium

Cynoglossum creticum – Blue hound’s tongue
The blue hound’s tongue is a biennial species growing in moist soil on cultivated, fallow or waste land, in olive-groves and in vineyards and along roadsides.

ECHIUM – Bugloss
Bugloss is a genus of bristly annuals or perennial herbaceous plants. The bristles have a characteristic pimple-like base and the flowers are arranged spirally around the stem in a panicle that can be either lax or dens with flowers. 5 species are found in Corfu.

Echium italicum – Pale bugloss
This is a biennial species found in rocky places, grassy habitats, pastures and along roadsides.

Echium plantagineum – Purple viper’s bugloss

HELIOTROPIUM – Heliotropes
The heliotropes have soft, hairy leaves and the lobes of the flowers are separeted by longitudinal folds. 3 species can be found in Corfu.

Heliotropium europaeum – Heliotrope
The white flowered heliotrope is an annual plant found growing on waste ground, cultivated and fallow land and along roadsides. There are 3 similar species found on Corfu, H. dolosum & H. suaveolens, both of which have scented flowers wich H. europaeum has not.

MYOSOTIS – Forget-me-nots
The flowers of the forget-me-nots are small, saucer shaped, often light blue with yellow pimples in the throat-opening. The leaves can be either hairy or hairless. Many species in this genus look very similar. 2 (3) species found on Corfu.

Myosotis ramosissima – Early scorpion grass, early forget-me-not
A small annual species found growing in fairly dry places among low vegetation.

The comfreys are perennial herbs with large, roughly haired leaves. Only 1 species reported from Corfu.

Symphytum bulbosum – Bulbous comfrey
This creeping perennial species thrives on damp ground in woods and along stream banks.



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