Borago, the origin of this name is uncertain, although Linnaeus used it in the sense of an 'active heart', but from at least the time of Pliny (born AD 23) it was believed to ‘make a man merry and joyful’; name possibly from the Latin burra – a hairy garment and referring to the leaves which are frequently hairy. Herbs, shrubs or occasionally climbers. Leaves are simple and maybe alternate or opposite, or both forms maybe present on the one plant, stiff hairs often present. The characteristic inflorescence is a scorpoid cyme sometimes called a boragoid cyme, it maybe reduced to 1-2 flowers. Flowers are 5-merous, bell-shaped or have the corolla lobes flattened. Ovary usually of 2 carpels, fruit various.