Systematics of Hydrophylloideae (Boraginaceae)

From the Field

fizgig and nonsense


The Fizzgigious Fish from Twenty-six nonsense rhymes and pictures in More nonsense pictures, rhymes, botany, etc. by Edward Lear. 1872. All included in Nonsense books, available at Project Gutenberg.

i am old; i try reasoning with children

Don’t throw rocks at pelicans and sea lions. Stop doing that I said. Because laws I said. Because thinking I said.

Because the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and Level A Harassment in the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 I said.



I won’t be old forever. I might be stupid forever, though.

Sin-Celery yours,


better science through breakfast


floral diagram


tar water, a succedaneum for sunlight and exercise


Berkeley Seismological Lab virtual tour of geological sites on the UC Berkeley campus ‘The Geology of Bear Territory’

Berkeley Landmarks

George Berkeley, Essay on Tar Water from Siris at Project Gutenberg and Siris at GoogleBooks

“119. Studious persons also, pent up in narrow holes, breathing bad air, and stooping over their books, are much to be pitied.”

devil’s slide commute

fogbow devil'sslide commute

sick leave for service dogs

She’s feeling better.


earwigs are always blue in my dreams


roll up rainbow


plants are so defensive

In such interesting and painful ways. I’ve developed a sensitivity to the plants I study, and I don’t mean an appreciation for them. I mean that I react to exposure. Contact dermatitis haptens, yo.

The eglandular hairs of Boraginaceae are irritating, in the field and in the herbarium. The only good thing is that the stinging hairs aren’t urticating hairs, and don’t inject pain.  So I can tell when I get a handful of Urtica dioica as opposed to Phacelia malvifolia or Phacelia nemoralis. The hairs are solid and break off and stay in my skin, and then I get itchy bumps.





The glandular hairs are a different irritating issue. I respond strongly to urushiol (Toxicodendron diversilobum) too, and  sometimes it is really difficult to tell if the delayed contact dermatitis came from exposure to poison oak or glandular Hydrophylloideae taxa (like Phacelia pedicellata, Phacelia parryi, Phacelia crenulata, Phacelia minor, Phacelia campanularia…). Here is a pro-tip, NEVER ROLL AROUND IN A FIELD OF PHACELIA CRENULATA. It looks really pretty, but Phacelia crenulata smells like Phacelia crenulata, and then you will smell like Phacelia crenulata, and you have geranylhydroquinone everywhere.




so pretty. so shiny.


REYNOLDS, G. W., W. L. EPSTEIN, and E. RODRIGUEZ. 1986. Unusual contact allergens from plants in the family Hydrophyllaceae. Contact dermatitis 14(1):39-44.

REYNOLDS, G., and E. RODRIGUEZ. 1979. Geranylhydroquinone: A contact allergen from trichomes of Phacelia crenulata. Phytochemistry 18(9):1567-1568.

fried foraging! science fritters

I ate them all, so no photos of the fry-up. I found recipe #357 from Neil Cooks Grigson - and +lemon wedges and olives and some aoili, with Anchor Steam. The comfrey variant is included in the recipe for Clary Fritters [pp. 164, Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery]. Fried food is a good thing, so doubleplusgood to eat my research. Science fritters! And in a historically reasonable way.




We work, and our work has value. I support UC Student Workers.


I support UC Student Workers on strike

UAW Local 2865 strike April 2-3


UAW 2865










UAW Local 2865 STRIKE! April 2-3







cool tankard, Borago officinalis

Inspired by the recent review: Sheryl Creer and Robert Patterson, Review of The Drunken Botanist. The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart. Madroño 61 (1): 144-145. 2014.

Borago officinalis, (=Cool Tankard, Vegetable Ice, also the traditional Pimm’s Cup garnish. see OED!)


Blackie’s modern cyclopedia of universal information; Volume 3 of Blackie’s Modern Cyclopedia of Universal Information. 1890.  New York, NY.

cool tankard of our forefathers

The domestic service guide to housekeeping; practical cookery; pickling and preserving; household work; dairy management; the table and dessert; cellarage of wines; home-brewing and wine-making; the boudoir and dressing-room; travelling; stable economy; gardening operations, etc.; being a handbook of the duties of the housekeeper, cook, lady’s-maid, nursery-maid, house-maid, laundry-maid, dairy-maid, butler, valet, footman, coachman, groom, [and] gardener … 1865. Lockwood and Co., London, UK.


I am allergic to Boraginaceae.



cake. cake. cakecakecake.

We published our paper.

Walden, G. K., L. M. Garrison, G. S. Spicer, F. W. Cipriano, and R. Patterson. 2014. Phylogenies and chromosome evolution of Phacelia (Boraginaceae: Hydrophylloideae) inferred from nuclear ribosomal and chloroplast sequence data. Madroño 61(1):16–47. [BioOne].


I love cake. This is my favorite. I was five.

Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley

Via the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library. Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley, Botanical Register [Bot. Reg.] 14: tab. 1180. 1828. “A hardy annual, of great beauty, … resembling some small Echium in appearance”

Eutoca multiflora Douglas ex Lindley_just a taste

UC Berkeley Disability Awareness Week (DAW) events week of 3/31-4/4

Contemplating Change [Man in a mirror, yo]

because i’m happy, fern.

because i'm happy, fern.

receptacular spectacular

PlantFamiliesSpectacularReceptacular copy

Introduction to California Plant Families, March 2014 Jepson Herbarium Workshop

UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium Workshop Introduction to California Plant Families

Window collections for the 21-23 March 2014, UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium Workshop Introduction to California Plant Families with Sheryl Creer and Christina Yunker. Papaveraceae, Garryaceae, Boraginaceae on the sill, looking out to California Hall, the Campanile, and the hundreds of plant families outside.

UC Berkeley Campus Map & TJM2/APGIII tour Magnoliids

A self guided tour of the UC Berkeley Campus for Magnoliids [TJM2/APGIII]. Downloadable PDF here.


TJM2_TableFamilies_gkw03192014_pp3 Jepson Plant Families Table. Included plant families in TJM2, compared with treatment in A flora of California [1909-1943], TJM1993, TJM2, Supplement 1 2013 [S1 2013], and Jepson eFLORA. TJM2 Phylogenetic Index Clade name in terminal column. Link to three page downloadable PDF here.

Good Lu Ck Best Friend


explain the output. go back