Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Mertensia Roth

English: Lungwort family.

Boraginaceae, Lungwort family.

Published in Nom. cons., Catal. Bot. 1: 34. 1797

Vegetative morphology. Plants 3–30 cm high; perennial herbs. Taproot present. Ground level or underground stems vertical. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect, or ascending, or decumbent. Leaves distributed along the stems; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles present, or absent (leaves near the inflorescences); 0–30(–50) mm long; winged, or not winged; flat; glabrous. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Blades 15–65 mm long, (4–)5–12(–18) mm wide, spreading or divaricate, straight, ovate or spatulate, flat, veins pinnate or appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface dull (fresh green) or glaucous (bluish green), glabrous or scabrous, hairs strigose (if applicable), hairs simple, hairs moderately dense (if applicable), hairs white, or translucent (if applicable). Blade abaxial surface glaucous or not glaucous, with sessile glands or without sessile glands or glandular hairs, glabrous. Blade margins entire (sometimes with strigulose hairs); apices acute, or obtuse, or rounded (aerial stem terminating in a flowering stem from which arise pedicels bearing single flowers).

Reproductive morphology. Inflorescences corymbose; diffuse. Pedicels present; glabrous, or scabrous. Flowers per inflorescence (2–)4–20; small, or medium-sized. Sepals conventional; 5; free (for most of their length), or fused (at the base); (0.9–)1–2.5 mm long; 3.5–4.5 mm wide; green. Calyx bell-shaped, or rotate; 5-lobed; glabrous, or hairy. Calyx hairs strigose (if applicable); white or translucent. Petals conventional; fused; 5; purple, or blue (rarely white); 6–15 mm long. Corolla tubular, or funnel-form; 5-lobed. Stamens 5; stamen filaments glabrous; fused to the corolla. Anthers yellow (sometimes brownish); 0.8–1.7 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2 (ovary with twice as many segments as carpels); partly fused. Ovaries sub-globose; glabrous. Styles 1; 3.5–10 mm long; straight. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation axile. Ovules per ovary 4. Fruit stalked (ripening into 4 distinct nutlets, individually attached to the style at the base of the gynoecium); with calyx persisting; dry; an aggregate of nutlets; spherical; yellowish, or brown, or golden brown; 4–5 mm long; 4–5 mm wide; glabrous; surface appearing veinless; not distinctly flattened; schizocarpous. Seeds 1–4; 3–4 mm long; yellowish; surfaces smooth.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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