(figwort) family has been reduced in size in recent years following transfer of some genera to other families, such as penstemon to plantaginaceae
. In the US, there are now 59 species in 9 genera, most common, in the West, being verbascum (non-native), scrophularia and buddleja.
Most plants are herbs, producing vertical clusters of flowers, usually accompanied by leafy bracts. Leaves are variable: simple or pinnately divided, whorled, alternate or opposite. Flowers tend to be bilaterally symmetric; a five lobed calyx and a corolla that opens to a two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobed lower lip. There are usually four stamens, in two pairs, and sometimes a fifth, infertile stamen.