Scrophularia nodosa

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Scrophularia nodosa
Scrophularia nodosa8.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Scrophularia
S. nodosa
Binomial name
Scrophularia nodosa

Scrophularia nodosa (also called figwort, woodland figwort, and common figwort) is a perennial herbaceous plant found in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere except western North America.[1] It grows in moist and cultivated waste ground.[2]


It grows upright, with thick, sharply square, succulent stems up to 150 cm tall from a horizontal rootstock. Its leaves are opposite, ovate at the base and lanceolate at the tip, all having toothed margins. The flowers are in loose cymes in oblong or pyramidal panicles. The individual flowers are globular, with five green sepals encircling green or purple petals, giving way to an egg-shaped seed capsule.[3]

First year Scrophularia nodosa plant: swollen hypocotyl/stem with scars from the first four pairs of leaves (1-4). From (Warming 1884)

Fossil record[edit]

Seed identification of Scrophularia nodosa has been made from sub-stage IIIa of the Hoxnian at Clacton in Essex, from the Middle Pleistocene.[4]


The plant was thought, by the doctrine of signatures, to be able to cure the throat disease scrofula because of the throat-like shape of its flowers.[5]


  1. ^ Mills, S., The Complete Guide to Modern Herbalism, Thorsons, Great Britain, 1994.
  2. ^ PLANTS Profile for Scrophularia nodosa (woodland figwort) | USDA PLANTS
  3. ^ Figwort
  4. ^ The History of the British Flora, A Factual Basis for Phytogeography by Sir Harry Godwin, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 0 521 20254 X, 1975 edition page 318
  5. ^ Figwort: Free Encyclopedia Articles at Online Library

External links[edit]