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Figwort, Early - Scrophularia lanceolata

Figwort, Early - Scrophularia lanceolata

It germinated! We will have Figwort for 2024.


Scrophularia lanceolata, also known as Lanceleaf or Early Figwort, is a perennial native wildflower native to Michigan and the U.P. This one is subtle. It has attractive foliage, but the flower spikes are airy and are easy to overlook. Once you know what to look for, however, you will see this plant everywhere. We've found it in sunny fields, shaded river valleys, rock rip rap on the shore of Lake Superior, and even in our own woods.


In areas with more light, the plant grows taller (4 to 5 feet) and the flowers are often a richer red to maroon with green accents. In more shaded areas, the flowers are a light rose to almost yellow and the foliage is a richer green and tends to sprawl (1 to 3 feet). Ideal conditions are medium to moist soil with some richness and part sun. In full sun, this plant will benefit from having tall neighbors to shade the leaves, which are on the lower half of the stalks. The plant will sprawl in full shade, but in my opinion, this does not diminish its attractiveness, especially as part of the groundcover beneath trees. Tolerates medium wet to dry soil conditions.


The best thing about it is its waxy-textured, uniquely-shaped, richly colored flowers. Unfortunately, the flowers are hard to photograph without taking unattractive pictures of my fingers holding them for the camera. Definitely enjoy this plant in-person. Excellent for pollinator and bird gardens - this nectar-rich plant draws a variety of bees and hummingbirds.


Here, in part, is what the Xerces Society has to say about Figwort at

"The odds are pretty good that you’ve never encountered figwort, or if you have you’ve taken no notice. Hopefully, after reading this you will seek it out. Figworts are amongst the most prolific nectar producers in the plant world. If the common name of ‘figwort’ doesn’t endear you to, it perhaps you will prefer to call it “Simpson’s honey plant” as it was known in the 1880’s when it was mass-planted in parts of the Midwest where beekeepers claimed a single acre could produce 400 to 800 pounds of honey that was prized for being light, clear, and aromatic.

[...] discerning horticulturalists will find interest in the flowers simply for their uniqueness. Figworts tolerate partial shade and wet conditions, making them excellent for planting in rain gardens or along stream banks. Figworts attract a huge number of bees, wasps, flies, and hummingbirds – especially when planted in large clusters.

Best for: Providing an abundance of nectar for pollinators, attracting beneficial predatory wasps.

  • Page created March 2024

PriceFrom $6.00
Excluding Sales Tax |
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