Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Scrophulariaceae A.L. de Jussieu

English: Fernweed family.

Scrophulariaceae, Fernweed family.

Published in Type: Described from mountains in northern, central and southern Europe, selected by Molau, Opera Bot. 102: 19. 1990. Lectotype: UPS: Herb. Burser 14: 36.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–20(–30) cm high; annual herbs, or biennial herbs, or perennial herbs; caespitose, or not caespitose; glandular viscid (Bartsia), or not glandular viscid (usually). Taproot present, or only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or vertical, or absent; rhizomatous; elongate (rarely), or compact; 0.4–1 mm wide. Caudex present, or absent. Aerial stems erect (usually), or ascending, or decumbent. Aerial stem trichomes present, or absent; spreading, or erect, or retrorse. Leaves heterophyllous, or not heterophyllous; distributed along the stems, or mainly basal; alternate, or opposite; distinctly distichous (Barstia), or not distinctly distichous; dying annually and non-persistent, or marcescent. Petioles present, or absent; 0.5–50 mm long; winged, or not winged; glabrous, or hairy; puberulent, or villous, or woolly. Petiole hairs shorter than the diameter of the petiole, or longer than the diameter of the petiole (if applicable); spreading; floccose, or curved, or wavy (Pedicularis). Leaf blade bases truncate, or cuneate, or attenuate, or rounded. Blades (2–)10–40(–75) mm long, 1.2–15 mm wide, spreading or divaricate or reflexed, straight or somewhat curled, linear or oblong or lanceolate or ovate or obovate, flat, veins pinnate or veins palmate or veins parallel or appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface glabrous or glabrescent or scabrous or hairy, hairs pubescent or pilose, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface glabrescent or scabrous or hairy, hairs puberulent or pubescent or pilose, hairs sparse or moderately dense or very dense, hairs straight or curved or wavy, hairs spreading (hairs long near the leaf axils; short and more sparse towards the leaf tip, if applicable). Blades lobed or not lobed or cut into linear divisions. Blade margins entire or crenate or dentate or deeply divided, glabrous or scabrous or with non-glandular hairs; apices acuminate, or acute, or obtuse, or rounded.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section, or squarish in cross section. Flowering stems with leaves. Flowering stems hairy. Flowering stems puberulent, or pubescent, or pilose, or woolly. Flowering stem hairs simple (floccose); shorter than the diameter of the flowering stem, or longer than the diameter of the flowering stem; white or translucent; glandular hairs present, or absent. Inflorescences spicate, or racemose, or head-like; terminal (usually), or lateral; dense, or diffuse; oblong, or globose or sub-globose, or cylindrical; (0.5–)1–10 cm long; 5–40 mm wide; elongating as the fruit matures, or not elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels present, or absent. Flowers per inflorescence 3–30; medium-sized, or large; bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Sepals conventional; 4, or 5; fused; (2.2–)4–13(–20) mm wide; green, or yellow, or purple, or black, or pink, or white; herbaceous, or petaloid. Calyx tubular, or bilabiate; 4-lobed, or 5-lobed; glabrous, or hairy. Calyx margins ciliate, or margins without cilia. Petals conventional; fused; 5; white, or yellow, or red, or pink, or purple; with contrasting markings, or without contrasting markings. Corolla bilabiate; 2-lobed (helmet), or 3-lobed (lip or landing petal), or 4-lobed; helmet prolonged into a long beak, or not prolonged into a long beak. Stamens 2, or 4; stamen filaments markedly unequal in length, or all equal in length; stamen filaments glabrous, or hairy for the full length, or hairy at base only. Anthers purple, or reddish, becoming yellow, or yellow; ellipsoid, or triangular; 0.8–2.8 mm long. Nectaries present. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries ovate, or inverse turnip-shaped; glabrous, or hairy. Ovary hairs white; spreading (if applicable); straight. Styles 1; straight. Stigmas per ovary 1–2. Placentation axile. Ovules per ovary numerous. Fruit sessile (sub-sessile), or stalked (with a short stalk); with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; ovoid, or elongate-cylindrical, or obovate, or oblong, or urceolate, or broadly lanceolate (often beaked); brown to red, or brown, or purple, or golden brown, or straw-coloured, or yellowish; 4–20 mm long; glabrous, or hairy, or glabrescent; splitting to the base into separate segments, or opening at the apex and partially or fully down one side.

Chromosome information. Ploidy levels recorded 2x and 4x usually and 6x and 8x Bartsia.

General notes. Elven et al. (2003) noted that "in a paper given the provocative title "Disintegration of the Scrophulariaceae", Olmstead et al. (2001), Amer. J. Bot. 88: 348–361, summarised molecular and cladistic evidence for the unnaturalness of this family. Their data indicated that the current Scrophulariaceae contained at least five monophyletic groups (families) that also should include some satellite families currently recognised as separate:

I. Scrophulariaceae s.s. - five tribes, e.g., Verbasceae, and also Buddlejaceae and Myoporaceae.

II. Veronicaceae - five tribes, e.g., Antirrhineae and Gratioleae, and also Callitrichaceae, Globulariaceae, Hippuridaceae, and Plantaginaceae.

III. Orobanchaceae - two tribes, e.g., Rhinantheae, and also Orobanchaceae, in the traditional meaning.

IV. Calceolariaceae - tribus Calceolarieae.

V. Stilbaceae - extended with one genus from current Scrophulariaceae.

One of the investigated genera, Mimulus, did not fit any of the categories and was equally close to Lamiaceae, Paulowniaceae, and Orobanchaceae. This treatment is too provisional and radical to be taken fully into account yet."


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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