Herbs or occasionally shrubs, sometimes thick-stemmed, fragrant or rough-haired. Leaves alternate or opposite, simple or compound, margins entire to finely dissected; stipules absent. Flowers solitary or in dense clusters, regular, bisexual and usually 5-parted, mostlyblue to purple. Calyx lobes fused at the base. Corolla mostly bell-shaped. Stamens attached to the petals between the lobes and with a pair of appendages at the base. Ovary superior, of 2 fused carpels and with 1 or 2 chambers. Fruit a capsule containing few to many ovules.

A family closely related to the Polemoniaceae but of little horticultural importance in Australia.

Cultivated annuals with calyx appendages or ferny dissected foliage; flower clusters characteristically coiled in a manner similar to that found in the family Boraginaceae.

12 genera and c. 250 species, more or less cosmopolitan but with a centre of distribution in W North America. Australia has 2 genera and 2 species.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Hydrophyllaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Updated by: Val Stajsic, April 2018

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      [Boraginales]
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Nemophila Nutt.
genus        Phacelia Juss.
genus        Wigandia Kunth