Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

SCROPHULARIACEAE

FIGWORT FAMILY

Lawrence R. Heckard, Family Coordinator

Annual to shrubs, generally glandular, some green root-parasites
Stem generally round
Leaves generally alternate, simple, generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed); stamens generally 4 in 2 pairs, generally included, a 5th (generally uppermost) sometimes present as a staminode; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2
Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal
Seed: coat sculpture often characteristic
Genera in family: ± 200 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Antirrhinum, Mimulus, Penstemon ) or medicinal (Digitalis )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include only Buddleja, Scrophularia, and Verbascum in CA; other genera moved to Orobanchaceae (Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus), and Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.)
Key to genera by Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax.

VERONICA

SPEEDWELL, BROOKLIME

Margriet Wetherwax

Annual, perennial herb
Stem erect or prostrate
Leaves opposite
Inflorescence: raceme, terminal or axillary, or flowers solitary in axils; bracts small, alternate
Flower: sepals generally 4(5), ± free, generally unequal; corolla ± rotate, 4-lobed, upper lobe wide (formed by fusion of upper pair), blue or violet to white; stamens 2, exserted; stigma head-like
Fruit: capsule, flattened perpendicular to septum, generally obcordate, loculicidal and septicidal
Species in genus: ± 250 species: n temp, especially Eurasia
Etymology: (Possibly named for Saint Veronica)

Introduced

V. anagallis-aquatica L.

WATER SPEEDWELL

Perennial, rhizomed, glabrous
Stem generally decumbent, rooting at lower nodes, simple to many-branched from base, 10–60(100) cm
Leaf 20–80 mm, elliptic to ovate, clasping to cordate, entire to serrate, light green, sessile (except lowest ± short-petioled)
Inflorescence axillary, glabrous to ± glandular-puberulent; flowers generally > 30; bracts linear-lanceolate; pedicels 4–8 mm, upcurved
Flower: sepals 3–5.5 mm, lanceolate to elliptic; corolla 5–10 mm, pale lavender-blue, violet-lined; style 1.5–3 mm
Fruit 2.5–4 mm, at least as wide, rounded, barely notched
Seed 0.5 mm, flat
Chromosomes: 2n=18,36
Ecology: Wet meadows, streambanks, slow streams
Elevation: < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains (uncommon)
Distribution outside California: widely naturalized in N.America, S.America; native to Europe
Flowering time: May–Sep

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