Boraginaceae - Boraginaceae

Tournefourtia angustiflora Ruiz & amp; Pav., A shrub in the Boraginaceae. Note the characteristic shape of the infructescence, a scorpioid cyme. A shrub; note the characteristic shape of the inflorescence, a scorpioid top.

Description: A family of herbs, shrubs, and trees. In flower, the Boraginaceae are easy to recognize by their inflorescence shape: a "scorpioid cyme" (see illustration). Unfortunately, the Boraginaceae are very difficult to identify vegetatively. One good character is their strongly sympodial growth form. Rather than one main stem, Boraginaceae have a succession of main branches that diverge from the nodes. Many species also have rather asperous (i.e., rough-textured) leaves. The large tree Cordia alliodora is fairly easy to recognize, due to its swollen nodes inhabited by ants and its unusual habit of dropping its leaves in the wet season.

Economic uses: Many Cordia species are timber trees. Cordia alliodora (or laurel) is the most important one in this area of ​​Costa Rica. In the Peruvian Amazon, Tournefortia species is used (among other plants) in the preparation of the hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca .

Description: A family of herbs, shrubs, and trees. The flowers of the Boraginaceae are easy to recognize by their shape: a "scorpioid top," which resembles the shape of a scorpion's tail. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to recognize Boraginaceae without flowers. A useful feature is its simpodial architecture. Instead of a main stem, the Boraginaceae have a succession of branches that diverge from the knots. Many species have rough leaves. The Cordia alliodora tree (laurel) is very distinctive, because it has formicarios in the thickened knots, and its unusual characteristic of leaves leaves fall during the rainy season.

) Trees / trees: Cordia (10).

FIELD MARKS - alternate, simple leaves, stellate hairs make leaves scabrous (rough), characteristic branching at nodes with two horizontal branches and a third, often shorter branch, oriented vertically.

Cordia alliodora "laurel" - characteristic branching, nodes are swollen and house ants, grows tall with whitish bark due to lichens , canopy is sparse, laminated live bark, important timber tree.

Cordia alliodora stem with leaves stripped to show characteristic 3-way branching. Laminated live bark of Cordia alliodora.

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sheds its leaves during the wet season. The swollen nodes are clearly visible even in the canopy. The swollen branch nodes of Cordia stems house

symbiotic ants.

Cordia lucidula with characteristic branch node with two branches with a leaf originating at the split branch. Planted in the lab clearing.

Fruits of Cordia lucidula look reminiscent of cherry tomatoes and are popular food for Crested Guans.

  • Adam Floyd