Boraginaceae includes approximately 117 genera of trees, shrubs, herbs, and a few woody climbers distributed from the tropics to temperate zones. A few species are used as culinary or medicinal herbs, and certain larger tree species are cut for timber. Leavers are usually simple, often narrow, sometimes hairy or scaly, sometimes rough enough to be used as fine sandpaper, Flowers are bisexual, or unisexual with male and female flowers on different plants. They are radially or bilaterally symmetrical or irregular, wheel – like, tubular, or funnel – shaped. They usually have 5 sepals and 5 petals.
Wigandia includes 2 or 3 species of trees or shrubs from tropical America. This genus was formerly segregated into its own family, Hydrophyllaceae. Leaves are large and leathery, usually with stinging or irritating hairs. A nonstinging form of W.urens is occasionally cultivated. Wigandia provides winter bloom and large, handsome leaves. Accustomed to moderate altitude, it is marginally hardy. It grows naturally in rocky soil. The temperate stinging nettle belongs in the family Urticaceae.
Wigandia urens var. caracasanaa
Synonym: W.caracasana. Mexico, Central America to Venezuela and Peru. Evergreen shrub or tree, 15-20 ft, zones 9-11. Blooms late winter, early spring. Moderate moisture. Average, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: violet, center white, indeterminate panicles opening over a long period from bottom to top. Leaves: large, broadly oveta, to 14 in. long, dark green, undersides usually with stinging hairs, margins undulate and toothed. Amber hairs on stems. This cultivated form lacks stinging hairs, the leaves feel some what sticky on the underside. A fast growing plant that tends to become rangy. Prune after bloom for compact growth. Suitable for coastal locations.