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The Waterleaf family is now considered a subfamily of the Borage Family. The flowers of this family often have a "dainty" appearance because the stamens frequently dangle so far out of the little blossoms. The flowers are typically small and often clustered together. The flower stalks often curl over, much like a scorpion tail. The flowers are regular and bisexual with 5 united sepals, 5 united petals and 5 stamens attached to the base of the petals. The ovary is positioned superior. It consists of 2 (rarely 4) united carpels (syncarpous), forming a single chamber. It matures as a capsule with a variable number of seeds. Like other members of the Borage family, the plants are often hairy. Worldwide, the traditional Waterleaf family includes about 20 genera and 270 species. Sixteen genera are native to North America. The species I am familiar with seem mildly astringent.
Key Words: Small, hairy plants with parts in fives, united.
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