The Asteridae
Family Overview - Scrophulariales

Scrophulariaceae - the Snapdragon Family

Diversity: Mostly showy flowered herbs with a few shrubs and some taxa specialized as root parasites - a large and highly variable family of about 220 genera and 4, 500 species.

Distribution:  Worldwide with no pronounced center of diversity. We have 37 genera and 118 species in the Texas flora.

Floral structure:

Significant features:  This family shows a floral structure similar to that found in the Lamiaceae and Verbenaceae of the Lamiales.  It is characterized by the presence of a zygomorphic, often bilabiate, corolla.  Reduction of stamen number is usually concordant with zygomorphy in that the fifth stamen does not 'fit' into a corolla that shows bilateral symmetry.  However, as opposed to the Lamiales, taxa of the Scrophulariaceae produce a capsular fruit, similar to those produced by the Solanales.  Thus, this family can be consider as an 'intermediate' element of the Asteridae that fits between the Solanales and the Lamiales.

Digitalis purpurea - a fairly typical 'scroph' - overview (left) from Lindman and inflorescence (right).  Also, see Thome's image)

Local Penstemon species: (see also the Penstemon website)


Castilleja indivisa:


More information on the Scrophulariaceae

Return to Lecture Notes, the Biology 301 homepage, or the Asteridae page