Scrophulariaceae image
Paul Drobot  

Key to Wisconsin Scrophulariaceae

Author: John G. Zaborsky

    • 1a. Plants woody (at least near the base); leaf undersides whitened; flowers bluish to purplish Buddleja

    • 1b.Plants herbaceous (but often large); leaf undersides similar in color to the upper; flowers yellow, white, or brown 2

    • 2a.Principal cauline leaves opposite; flowers brownish, clearly zygomorphic Scrophularia

    • 2b.Principal cauline leaves alternate; flowers yellow or white, nearly actinomorphic Verbascum

This family was once much larger, but studies using molecular data have helped us better understand relationships between these genera. Species in our flora formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae are now placed in the Linderniaceae, Orobanchaceae, Paulowniaceae, Phrymaceae, and Plantaginaceae.

Butterfly-bush, Buddleja davidii Franch., is sometimes cultivated in our region for its fragrant, showy blossoms that are attractive to insects. It was collected once on the campus of UW-Madison as a waif and is barely winter-hardy in our climate. It differs from our other two genera in being a shrub with opposite leaves and dense, thyrsoid inflorescences, the flowers of which are blue, white, pink, or purplish.
Species within Brule River State Forest Observation 2015