Scrophulariaceae is in the order Lamiales which also contains families such as Acanthaceae,
Bignoniaceae, Lamiaceae, Oleaceae and Verbenaceae.
The original Scrophulariaceae (Figwort) family contained about 220 (190 – 275) genera and 3000 to 5000 species.
Plants were grouped together as they had some similar morphological features.
With increasing molecular and genetic studies it became apparent that many of the genera had no immediate
common ancestor which is the aim of current classifications.
A very large reorganisation has resulted in many genera being moved out of the original Scrophulariaceae into
new or existing families in the Lamiales.
There are still different versions of this reclassification as seen from the range of genera.
The ‘new’, more strictly defined family Scrophulariaceae has around 65 (59 – 87) genera and
1700 to 1800 species.
Some of the better known genera in the new family are Diascia, Nemesia, Leucophyllum, Sutera,
Eremophila, Myoporum, Scrophularia and Verbascum.
Buddlejaceae and Myoporaceae are sometimes seen as synonyms for Scrophulariaceae.
Included in the genera moved out of the original family into new, or existing, families are Calceolaria,
Torenia and Paulownia. Angelonia, Antirrhinum, Bacopa, Digitalis, Hebe, Linaria, Penstemon,
Russelia and Veronica were moved into Plantaginaceae.
Buddleja is seen in Scrophulariaceae or Buddlejiaceae.
Species are found worldwide and under the new classification around 20 (17 to 22) genera with around
122 species are found in Australia including 39 in South East Queensland.
I will use the new, stricter definition of the family.
Plants are mostly annual, biennial or perennial herbs and some small shrubs.
Some have simple, branched or glandular hairs.
The mostly simple leaves are alternate (spiral or in ranks) or opposite, rarely whorled.
Leaves may or may not have petioles and there are no stipules.
The leaf edge may be smooth or have blunt or sharp teeth.
Inflorescences can be a solitary flower, a few or a branched or unbranched spike-like cluster.
They can be axillary or terminal and there may be various types of bracts and bracteoles.
The bisexual flowers are mostly bilaterally symmetric (zygomorphic) with 2 lips.
Typically the upper lip has 2 lobes and the lower lip has three.
Flowers, usually on stalks, have parts mostly in 4’s or 5’s.
There are usually 4 (5) sepals with the bases fused and (2) 4 to 5 lobes.
They commonly persist on the fruit.
The tubular or bell-shaped corolla may have a spur or sac.
It commonly has the petal bases fused and (4 ) 5 lobes in 2 lips.
Most have 4 stamens in 2 pairs, of different lengths, attached to the corolla tube.
A few have 2 stamens and some have a shorter, infertile staminode.
The dorsi- or basi-fixed anthers typically have 2 pollen sacs and open via long slits.
The superior ovary of 2 fused carpels has 2 (4), sometimes unequal, locules.
Each locule usually has numerous ovules with axile placentation.
There is one apical style with a simple to 2-lobed stigma.
Some have a nectiferous disc.
Fruit are mostly various types of capsules with some berries and drupes.
The calyx usually persists around the fruit and the old style may be present.
The ovoid capsules open at the septa or into the chambers.
Seeds are often small and may or may not have wings.