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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.



Margriet Wetherwax

Biennial in CA (leaf rosette 1st year, stout flower-stem 2nd year)
Stem erect, simple or branched just below inflorescence
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, reduced upward
Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, bracted
Flower: calyx ± radial, deeply 5-lobed; corolla ± radial, rotate, 5-lobed; stamens 5, lowest 2 filaments > upper 3, all or upper hairy; stigmas fused, head-like
Fruit: capsule, septicidal
Seeds small, wingless, many
Species in genus: ± 360 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (Latin: from root for bearded)
Lvs used medicinally in cigarets for asthmatics.


V. thapsus L.


Biennial, densely stellate-hairy
Stem 30–200 cm, generally simple
Leaves: basal 8–50 cm, oblanceolate, generally entire, short-petioled; cauline 5–30 cm, lanceolate, generally entire, long-decurrent
Inflorescence: raceme, dense; bracts 12–18 mm; pedicels < 2 mm, generally fused to stem
Flower: calyx 7–9 mm, lobes lanceolate; corolla 15–25(30) mm wide, yellow; upper 3 filaments white- or yellow-hairy, lower 2 glabrous to sparsely hairy
Fruit 7–10 mm, ovoid
Chromosomes: 2n=32,34,36
Ecology: Disturbed areas
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, n East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: native to Eurasia
Flowering time: Jun–Sep

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