Water Figwort

Water Figwort (Scrophularia auriculata) is an interesting plant that I have previously not noticed on the Cerne riverbank. The books say it grows to 70cm in height but I am sure it is growing taller than that in the location where I spotted it. The stems are square in cross-section with ‘prominent wings’ – thin extensions growing outwards from each corner. The small flowers are up to 1cm in length and grow in spikes along the stem, each flower with a dark red or maroon upper lip and with a very strange appearance, quite unlike anything else I have seen. The fruits are greenish capsules that are thought to resemble small figs.