Scrophularia marilandica L.

Eastern Figwort


CC = 3
CW = 3
MOC = 64

© DETenaglia

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - To +3m tall, erect, typically simple, from large fleshy roots, glabrous, 4-angled, (the angles rounded), fluted with a single groove on each side of stem, herbaceous. Pith white.

Leaves - Opposite, decussate, petiolate. Petioles to +/-7cm long, often purplish above, with an adaxial groove, sparse glandular pubescent. Blades cordate to truncate at base, serrate, ovate, acuminate, dull green and glabrous above, light green and puberulent on veins below, to +15cm long, +/-9cm broad.

Scrophularia_marilandica_leaves1.jpg Pressed leaves.

© DETenaglia

Scrophularia_marilandica_leaf.jpg A more ovate leaf.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Terminal and axillary thrysoid panicles to 30cm long(tall). Each division of inflorescence subtended by gradually smaller linear bracts. Lowest division of inflorescence subtended by foliaceous bracts. Peduncles and pedicels with glandular pubescence. Glands deep purple to black, (use a lens to see the color). Pedicels to 1.5cm long in flower, slightly longer in fruit.


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Flowers - Corolla bilabiate, greenish, glabrous, 8-9mm long. Upper lip 2-lobed. Lobes rounded, reddish or at least with reddish margins, -3mm in diameter. Lower lip 3-lobed. Central lobe reflexed. Lobes 2mm long, rounded. Style exserted, greenish-white, often deflexed on the central lobe of the lower lip of the corolla, sparsely glandular pubescent or glabrous. Stamens 4, didynamous, one pair slightly exserted by the lower lip of the corolla. Filaments to 4mm long, greenish-white, glandular pubescent. Anthers yellow, 1.3mm broad. Staminode purplish, adnate to the upper lip of the corolla, included. Ovary superior, green, ovoid, 1.2mm long, 1.2mm in diameter, subtended by a thick yellow nectariferous ring, 2-locular. Placentation axile. Seeds(ovules) many. Calyx green, glabrous, 5-lobed. Lobes ovate, 2mm long, 1.5mm broad, rounded at the apex. Calyx tube to -1mm long.

Scrophularia_marilandica_flower.jpg Flower close-up.

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Scrophularia_marilandica_flower2.jpg Front view.

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Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Rich woods, ravines, thickets, stream banks, woodland borders.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species is found throughout Missouri. When not in flower, this species can be confused with another species, Agastache nepetoides (L.) O. Ktze., from the Lamiaceae. When in flower, though, S. marilandica is unmistakable because of its tall size and big open thrysoid panicles.
Steyermark lists two forms for the plant based on leaf pubescence but even he admits they are probably not valid.
Traditionally this species was used as a tea and a poultice for many ailments from fever to anxiety.

While I was out taking some of these pictures my co-worker Dan slipped and fell on this Copperhead:


© DETenaglia

Photographs taken at Logan Creek, Reynolds County, MO., 7-13-03, and along the shores of the Current River, Carter County, MO., 7-9-04.