Figworts, Snapdragons (family Scrophulariaceae)
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Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja)
Types of Flowers
Figworts or snapdragons (family Scrophulariaceae) quietly makes it way up the ranks of many favorite flowers lists.
World wide, the family of annual and biennial herbaceous plants edged close to the three hundred genera and five thousand species ranges.
The family's large size provides a broad base for choosing favorites. Some choose the root parasites such as the Louseworts and Castilleja. Others prefer the small and colorful Veronica and Mimulus species for both ground cover and garden purposes.
It's important to note that taxonomic changes continue in the flower world. The large size of the family makes it ripe for redefinition. Some genera such as Castillega have been moved, or suggested as better fits in other flower families.
Blue-eyed Mary, pictured above, is the common name given to a group of flowers in the genus Collinsia.
With the exception of the Southeast, they grow throughout most of the United States. Most are identified by the dual blue to purple and white flowers.
A handful of species grow in the Pacific Northwest. The top picture shows one of the smaller species, found growing along a cliff side.
Owl's-clover, the common name given to to a small genus (Orthocarpus) of figworts grow in many higher altitude areas of the West, produces purple, pink, white and yellow blooms.
The plants grow low to the ground and the picture shows the characteristic purplish bracts shaded with small bits of yellow and white.
Colorful tube flowers growing on one to three foot spikes makes Penstemon a popular garden choice.
The two hundred and fifty some native, North American penstemon provide plant breeders with ample opportunity to continue improving on different characteristics such as size and color of the commercial species.
© 2008-2011 Patricia A. Michaels