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Scrophularia lanceolata (Figwort)
Scrophulariaceae (Snapdragon Family)

Montane, subalpine. Openings, scree. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 11, 2008.

The tiny flowers of Figwort range from red, yellow, and orange to brown and green. Coupled to these tiny flowers is a tall plant with large leaves -- definitely an aesthetic mismatch.  But Figwort doesn't seem to mind our values and often places itself in full view at trail-side --  especially in rocky areas.  Where you find one plant you will almost always find others scattered about.  

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.  "Scrophularia" is from the Latin for "a tumor or glandular swelling".  The name was given to this plant because of a bygone belief that it cured this human affliction.  "Lanceolata" is from the Latin "lance" and refers to the leaf shape.  The genus Scrophularia is the source of the scientific name "Scrophulariaceae", the Snap Dragon Family --  in much the same manner as the genus Aster is the source of Asteraceae, the Sunflower Family.

Scrophularia lanceolata was first collected for science by Frederick Pursh in Pennsylvania early in the 1800s.  The plant is found from coast to coast in almost all states.  Pursh named and described the plant in his 1814 Flora Americae Septentrionalis.

Scrophularia lanceolata (Figwort)
Scrophulariaceae (Snapdragon Family)

Montane, subalpine. Openings, scree. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, June 20, 2005.
Lizard Head Trail, July 11, 2008.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Scrophularia lanceolata