Species: Water Figwort (Scrophularia auriculata)


Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.


This is a varied cosmopolitan family, whose members were thought to cure scrofula, a gangrenous tubercular condition of the lymph glands, also known as the 'king's evil'. It was held that the monarch could cure it by his touch. Edward the Confessor was the earliest king known to have touched sufferers, and the last was Queen Anne, who touched the two-year-old Samuel Johnson in 1712.

C. Water Figwort (Scrophularia auriculata)

Unlike the Common Figwort this native plant has winged stems and leaf stalks. It flowers from June. A figwort poultice is used for ulcers, piles, scrofulous swellings and for toothache. The dried stems, with the leaves stripped off, are called 'fiddlewood', because they make a squeaking noise when scraped. The distilled juice of the leaves removes skin blemishes. The roots have nodules, or 'figs', used to treat piles because they resembled them.