The Borage Family members are herbs and sometimes shrubs, with rough, hairy, alternate leaves with smooth edges. The completely symmetrical flowers have united petals and appear in coiled clusters, which unbend as the flowers become older. There are usually 5 sepals, 5 petals and 5 stamens. The 4-parted ovary produces 4 nutlets. (Dale 77).
There are well over 1,500 species of this family in the world, most of which are rough with coarse hairs, which occur not only on the stems and leaves but calyx and corolla as well. In California there are about 94 species in the family, of which 5 are introduced. (Robbins et al. 354).