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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Europe to Mongolia and Sri Lanka, N. Africa to Kenya and Arabian Peninsula.


Scrophulariaceae, S.A. Ghazanfar, F.N. Hepper & D. Philcox. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2008

Stems erect
Leaves cauline and alternate and in a basal rosette, toothed or sometimes pinnatifid, leaves of basal rosettes usually larger than cauline
Inflorescence racemose or spicate or often paniculate and tall
Flowers solitary or fasciculate (accessory flowers of Hartl), subtended by a bract, pedicellate
Calyx deeply 5-lobed or 5-partite, lobes ± equal, imbricate
Corolla subrotate, tube very short, 5-lobed, lobes broad, slightly unequal, the posterior outside
Stamens 4 or 5, inserted at the base of the corolla; filaments of anterior 2 or 3 bearded or all bearded; anthers transverse or oblique, monothecal by confluence; style entire, laterally compressed, dilated at the apex
Capsule globose or ovoid, septicidally 2locular
Seeds numerous, minute, longitudinally 6–9-grooved and ridged, sometimes (not in Flora area) with a cellular network between the ridges.
Verbascum, with 5 stamens, and Celsia with 4 stamens have been previously recognised as distinct genera, but it is now generally agreed that this status is untenable (see Ferguson in B.J.L.S. 64: 229 (1971) and Huber-Morath in Bauhinia 5: 7 (1973)). Fischer in Kubitzki (ed. J.W. Kadereit), Fam. & Gen. of Vasc. Pl.: vol. 7, p. 361 (2004) has followed Hartl and separated Rhabdotosperma Hartl from Verbascum on the basis of its ( Rhabdotosperma) seed endosperm morphology and accessory flowers. For the purpose of this Flora I have retained all species in the genus Verbascum, but species 3 & 4 can be referred to Rhabdotosperma. A taxonomically difficult genus, showing vast variations in some species.


M. Thulin. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1–4 [updated 2008]

About 360 species in Europe, Asia (diversity centre in Turkey and Iran), and in north-east Africa southwards to Kenya.
Herbs or rarely small shrubs, glandular-pubescent to densely villose, usually with branched hairs, rarelyglabrous
Leaves alternate along stem and in a basal rosette, entire or pinnatifid to pinnatisect, pinnately veined
Inflorescence terminal, lax, cymose, with axillary cymes and usually accessory flowers or racemose, bracteoles usually present; flowers shortly to distinctly pedicellate
Calyx deeply 5-lobed, lobes equal-Corolla yellow, rarely violet or purple, subrotate, ± actinomorphic or somewhat zygomorphic, the 2 upper lobes slightly shorter than the 3 lower ones
Stamens 4–5, equal, exserted, the median one sometimes reduced to a staminode; filaments usually villous; anthers with confluent thecae (synthecous) rounded at base
Ovary ovoid to globose, usually densely pubescent, with straight filiform style; stigma capitate; mucronate base of style persistent in fruit
Capsule with septicidal dehiscence
Seeds numerous, pitted.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Altay, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central European Rus, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, Niger, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Sinai, Somalia, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yemen, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Ascension, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, British Columbia, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Chile Central, Chile South, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Cuba, Delaware, Desventurados Is., District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, Easter Is., Ecuador, Florida, Georgia, Greenland, Haiti, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica, Juan Fernández Is., Kansas, Kentucky, Korea, Louisiana, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Northeast, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New Zealand North, Newfoundland, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Dakota, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Québec, Rhode I., Réunion, Saskatchewan, South Carolina, South Dakota, St.Helena, Tennessee, Texas, Tristan da Cunha, Uruguay, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Verbascum L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Ash [1260], Ethiopia 35785.000
Rico, L. [1715], Armenia K000297243
Roxburgh, W. [Cat. no. s.n.], India Celsia K001132490
Buchanan-Hamilton, F. [Cat. no. s.n.], Bangladesh Celsia K001132491
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Myanmar Celsia K001132493
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Bangladesh Celsia K001132494
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Bangladesh Celsia K001132495
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], West Bengal Celsia K001132496
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Indian Subcontinent Celsia K001132497

First published in Sp. Pl.: 177 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1972). Flora Europaea 3: 1-370. Cambridge University Press.


Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 3, (2006) Author: by E. Fischer [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bauhinea 5: 7 (1973)
  • Lunds Univ. Arsskr. 29(2): 1–630 (1933)
  • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 83 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl.: 177 (1753)

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.