Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
a family of dicotyledonous plants. The plants are primarily herbs or subshrubs (sometimes saprophytic, hemiparasitic, or parasitic); less frequently are they shrubs and lianas. The leaves are generally alternate but may be opposite or whorled. The bisexual flowers are solitary or in clusters. The calyx is usually four- or five-lobed or four- or five-parted; the corolla is generally irregular, often bilabiate, and four- or five-lobed (rarely six- to eight-lobed). The ovary is superior, and the fruit is usually a capsule.
There are more than 200 genera, embracing about 3,000 species. They are distributed primarily in the temperate belt of both hemispheres. More than 600 species, belonging to 45 genera, are found in the USSR. These genera include Veronica, Pedicularis, Scrophularia, Euphrasia, Linaria, Verbascum, Rhinanthus, and Melampyrum.
Many species grow as weeds in meadows and fields and are sometimes toxic. Digitalis, Verbascum, and some other species are very important medicinal plants. Antirrhinum, various species of Calceolaria, Castilleja, Nemesia, Mimulus, and Veronica are raised as ornamentals.
REFERENCESFlora SSSR, vol. 22. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema ifilogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV