Figwort family

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Plants in the figwort family are a mixed bunch.

As well as the figworts themselves, it includes the mulleins, snapdragons, toadflaxes, speedwells, and the foxglove. Some have open, flat flowers with four or five joined petals, and some have two-lipped flowers.

Great mullein, water figwort and common toadflax form tall spikes like the foxglove.

Other plants in the family are very different. Yellow rattle and red bartsia are semi-parasitic grassland plants, while common cow-wheat, another low-growing plant, occurs in woodland and is associated with the heath fritillary butterfly.

© Tony Gunton