Scrophularia marilandica

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: figwort 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Greenish-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Grow in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in part shade. Thrives in sandy loams.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scrophularia marilandica, commonly known as figwort, is an upright, square-stemmed, perennial with multiple branching that typically grows to 5-10' tall. It is native to open woods and roadsides from Quebec to Ontario to Minnesota south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, it is typically found in rich moist woodlands, ravines, thickets and wood margins throughout the State (Steyermark). Tiny, greenish-purple 2-lipped, tubular flowers (1/4" long) with reddish-brown interiors bloom in summer (July-September) in loose, terminal, pyramidal, thrysoid panicles (each to 12" tall). Long-stalked ovate to lanceolate, dull green leaves (4-6" long and to 3" wide) have serrate margins. Fruit is an ovoid capsule.

Native Americans brewed a tea from the roots for treating fevers and piles, and for use as a diuretic and tonic.

Genus name is in reference to a one-time use of some genus plants in the treatment of scrofula (tubercular swelling of the lymph glands of the neck).

Specific epithet means of Maryland.

Common name of figwort is in reference to an early use of the plant in treating piles (once known as figs). Additional common name of carpenter's square is in reference to the grooved square plant stems.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to damage from leaf spot and downy mildew. Potential insect pests include caterpillars, slugs and weevils.


Dappled shade of woodland gardens.