Scrophularia / Figwort
Common Name: Figwort
Scrophularia is a native wildflower found throughout the United States (except Alaska) and most parts of Canada. It grows naturally in woodlands, thickets and forests, so it prefers a good amount of shade. Since most bee-attracting plants require full or partial sun, Scrophularia makes a good choice for those shady areas of the yard, where most other plants won’t bloom. The flowers, though small, produce significant quantities of nectar, attracting not only native bees but other pollinators such as butterflies, flies and hummingbirds. Figworts are most attractive to pollinators when planted in large stands or clusters.
Nationwide, the United States and Canada, with the exception of Alaska, Manitoba and extreme northern Canadian territories
As the flowers of figwort species are quite small and not showy, these plants are often not carried by conventional nurseries. However, figwort species that are native to a given region can be found in local, native plant nurseries, botanical gardens or through the Native Seed Network.
Shade to partial shade
Average to moist
Scrophularia lanceolata (lanceleaf figwort) is a widely distributed, native species found throughout most parts of the U.S. and southern Canada (except the Southeast, Texas and Arizona). It provides a valuable nectar source for a variety of spring and early summer bees.
Scrophularia marilandica (carpenter’s square), which is an East Coast and Midwest native, is also a prolific nectar producer, with a long blooming season from early summer through fall, in most regions.
Scrophularia californica (California figwort), as its name suggests, is a California native, which occurs naturally in thick woods and blooms in the spring. It is particularly favored by a spring mining bee, Andrena auricoma.