Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

The figworts (Scrophularia spp.) have weird little flowers that attract many wasps and bees. They are not grown in gardens very often because their flowers are not very showy (by human standards). The only other figwort that occurs in Illinois is Early Figwort (Scrophularia lanceolata). This species is less common than Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica); in Illinois, it is found only in the northern section of the state. Early Figwort blooms a little earlier than Late Figwort (hence their common names), although their respective blooming periods overlap to some extent. The flowers of Early Figwort have sterile stamens that are yellow, rather than reddish brown or purple (the sterile stamens of both species are located along the upper interior of their corollas).
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Description

This herbaceous perennial plant is about 3½-8' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are often 4-angled and furrowed; they are slightly hairy or glabrous. The opposite leaves are up to 7" long and 3½" across (excluding the petioles), becoming somewhat smaller as they ascend the stems. These leaves are medium to dark green, cordate-ovate to ovate in shape, serrated along their margins, thin-textured, and largely hairless, except for some short pubescence along the undersides of their veins. The slender petioles are up to 2½" long; they are light green to red and glabrous to slightly hairy. The upper stems terminate in elongated panicles of flowers up to 1' long. Each panicle is somewhat cylindrical in shape, consisting of an erect central stalk (rachis) with short lateral branches that are widely spreading to ascending. Both the central stalk and lateral branches are light green; the latter also have short glandular pubescence, and they are slender and wiry. There are individual bracts (green, linear in shape, and up to 1" in length) that become progressively smaller as the panicle branches. Individual flowers are about 8 mm. (1/3") long and short-cylindrical in shape; each flower has a short-tubular green calyx with 5 blunt teeth and a corolla with 5 rounded lobes. The exterior of the corolla is dull green, while its interior is predominantly reddish brown. Each corolla has a pair of upper lobes that function as a hood, 2 short lateral lobes, and a lower lobe that curves downward. All of these lobes are reddish brown on the inside, except the lower lobe, which is greenish yellow. Appressed against the upper interior of this corolla, there is an infertile stamen that is reddish brown or purple. The 4 fertile stamens have yellow anthers; they are located toward the bottom of the corolla. The slender pedicels are a little longer than the flowers. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall, lasting about a month; only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Each flower is replaced by a 2-celled capsule that contains numerous tiny seeds. The root system is rhizomatous and knotty-tuberous. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) is a fairly common plant that has been observed in most counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, sandy woodlands, savannas, edges of shaded hillside seeps, woodland borders, thickets, and fence rows that are overgrown with trees. This species tolerates minor to moderate levels of disturbance. Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) is a fairly common plant that has been observed in most counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, sandy woodlands, savannas, edges of shaded hillside seeps, woodland borders, thickets, and fence rows that are overgrown with trees. This species tolerates minor to moderate levels of disturbance. Faunal Associations
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects and Birds of Late Figwort in Illinois

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Scrophularia marilandica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Wikipedia

Scrophularia marilandica

Scrophularia marilandica, also called late figwort, Maryland figwort, carpenter's square, or eastern figwort, is a flowering plant in the family Scrophulariaceae, native throughout eastern and central North America, where it is found growing in dry woods from Manitoba and Quebec south to Texas and Florida.

It grows 1.5–3 metres (4 ft 11 in–9 ft 10 in) tall, with opposite, ovate leaves up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long and 9 centimetres (3.5 in) broad. The flowers are rounded, 8–9 millimetres (0.31–0.35 in) long, with a cup-like mouth that look somewhat like a horse's mouth with a bad overbite; they are a deep reddish-purple color on the inside, with a greenish to almost brown cast on the outside. They are commonly visited by hummingbirds in late summer.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scrophularia marilandica L.". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
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