Scrophulariaceae

The Scrophulariaceae are herbs or small shrubs comprising about 24 genera and 1,200 species. The leaves are alternate or opposite and are simple; stipules are absent. The flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic to nearly actinomorphic. The calyx is commonly 3-5 lobed or cleft. The corolla is sympetalous, 4-5-lobed, and often 2-lipped. The androecium consists of 2, 4, or 5 stamens (5th stamen sometimes staminodial), adnate to the corolla tube or perigynous zone, alternate with the lobes. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 2 carpels, a single style, and a superior ovary with 2 locules, each containing one (or more frequently) numerous axile ovules. A nectary disk is usually present at the base of the ovary. The fruit type is a capsule or sometimes a schizocarp of 2 achenes.

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.


Scrophularia lanceolata, Mt. Spokane, WA, July, 2003.
Verbascum thapsus, mullein. Note weak floral zygomorphy and 5 functional stamens of the flower.  The center photo shows an example of the very high frequency of stem fasciation exhibited in populations of this species introduced to Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

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