Order XLI. Scrophulariaceae, Lindley.—Figworts.
Pediculares et Scrophulariae, Juss.—Scrophularineae, R. Brown.
Characters.—Flowers hermaphrodite, usually irregular. Calyx free, persistent, 5—4-merous. Corolla gamopetalous (monopetalous), hypogynous, pentamerous or (the upper petals being united) tetramerous, very rarely 6—7-merous, or 2-lobed, the lobes being united; bilabiatedly or irregularly imbricated, very rarely (in a few didynamous or diandrous genera) plaited in aestivation. Stamens inserted on the corolla, alternate with its lobes; the upper stamen usually, and the 2 anterior or posterior ones sometimes, sterile or deficient; anthers 2 celled, or by growing together or by half disappearing, 1-celled; the cells dehiscing by a longitudinal slit. Ovary free, 2-celled; ovules in each cell many (very rarely 2 together), inserted on the dissepiment near the axis, anatropal or amphitropal. Style simple, or very shortly bifid, at the apex; the stigmatic part either very thin, or incrassate, entire, or 2-lobed. Fruit capsular, dehiscing, variously or rarely baccate. Placenta 4, separate by dehiscence, or united variously with each other, with the edges of the valves, or with the central column. Seeds albuminous, indefinite with the radicle towards the basilar hilum, or few and definite with a more or less lateral hilum, and the radicle towards the apex of the fruit; embryo straight, or rarely curved.—Herbs, undershrubs, or rarely shrubs. Leaves opposite, whorled, or alternate. Stipules commonly absent. Inflorescence centrifugal or centripetal. Bracts 2, opposite, or solitary; bractlets none, or 1 or 2, alternate, or nearly opposite (Bentham).
Properties.—Juice watery, frequently bitter, astringent or narcotic.