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Scrophularia marilandica (Carpenter's square)
Cressler, Alan

Scrophularia marilandica

Scrophularia marilandica L.

Carpenter's Square, Maryland Figwort

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: SCMA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A 4-sided, grooved stem bearing a branching, somewhat pyramidal, terminal cluster of small, erect, sac-shaped, greenish-brown flowers with magenta-brown interiors.

Figworts are tall plants with brownish or greenish flowers in a large branched panicle. The common name figwort refers to the early use of the plants in treating hemorrhoids, an ailment once known as "figs." The plants were also used as a tonic; in the 1800s an infusion of the roots was given as a treatment for insomnia and anxiety. Hare Figwort (S. lanceolata), similar to Maryland Figwort, has shiny flowers and a greenish-yellow fifth stamen; it is found from Alberta east to Nova Scotia, south to North Carolina, northwest to Ohio and Illinois, southwest to Oklahoma, and north to North Dakota. Figwort (S. nodosa), a very similar European species, has become established in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; it has a brownish-purple sterile stamen and usually finishes flowering in June.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Subshrub
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Ontario and Quebec; Vermont and New Hampshire south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to South Dakota and Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Rich woods and thickets.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Scrophularia marilandica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scrophularia marilandica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scrophularia marilandica


Record Modified: 2023-05-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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