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(Figwort family)


3000 species in 220 genera are cosmopolitan.

[Summary yet to be added]

Aptosimum procumbens Steud. var. procumbens
[syns Aptosimum depressum Burch. ex Benth., Ohlendorffia procumbens Lehm.]
Carpet Flower, Karoo Violet

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Jamesbrittenia albobadia Hilliard
[syns Lyperia burkeana Benth., Sutera burkeana Hiern]

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Scrophularia auriculata L.
[syns Scrophularia aquatica auct., Betonica aquatica auct.]
Bishop's Leaves, Brownswort, Water Betony, Water Figwort

According to Wren (1975), the leaves of water betony have vulnerary and detergent properties and have been used in folk medicine as a poultice for ulcers, sores and wounds.

Scrophularia nodosa L.
Carpenter's Square, Figwort, Knotted Figwort, Rosenoble, Scrofula Plant, Throatwort

According to Stuart (1979), this plant has been used in folk medicine as a poultice for the external treatment of wounds, burns, ulcers, and haemorrhoids. It has also been used both externally and internally in chronic skin diseases such as eczema, its internally-mediated effects supposedly being the result of an action on the liver. Wren (1975) also referred to these uses. However, Stuart (1979) cautions that the plant should only be used under medical supervision because of its content of cardioactive glycosides.

Selago trinervia E.Mey.
[syns Selago racemosa Bernh., Selago tysonii Rolfe]

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Sutera pinnatifida Kuntze
[syn. Lyperia pinnatifida Benth.]

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Verbascum thapsus L.
Common Mullein, Aaron's Rod, Moth Mullein, Flannel Plant, Bouillon Blanc, Molène

The leaves, which are thickly covered with woolly hairs that are irritant to the skin, are often applied externally to the throat in some parts of the United States to produce a rubefacient effect (White 1887). Dermatitis of the face and left wrist from contact with the plant was reported by Steiner-Wourlisch (1930). The plant does not seem to be notably irritant to field-workers (Behl et al. 1966).


  • Behl PN, Captain RM, Bedi BMS, Gupta S (1966) Skin-Irritant and Sensitizing Plants Found in India. New Delhi: PN Behl [WorldCat]
  • Steiner-Wourlisch, A. (1930) Unusual cases of dermatitis venenata. Klin. Wchnschr. 9: 205.
  • Stuart M (1979) Reference section. In: Stuart M (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism, pp. 141-283. London: Orbis Publishing [WorldCat] [url]
  • White JC (1887) Dermatitis Venenata: an account of the action of external irritants upon the skin. Boston: Cupples and Hurd [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • Wren RC (1975) Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. (Re-edited and enlarged by Wren RW). Bradford, Devon: Health Science Press [WorldCat] [doi] [url] [url-2]

Richard J. Schmidt

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