Figwort: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on figwort

Figwort, a perennial herbaceous plant of the Scrophulariaceae family, grows upright, with thick, sharply square, succulent stems up to 150 cm tall from a horizontal rootstock. Its leaves are opposite, ovate at the base and lanceolate at the tip, all having toothed margins. The flowers are in loose cymes in oblong or pyramidal panicles. The individual flowers are globular, with five green sepals encircling green or purple petals, giving way to an egg-shaped seed capsule.

common names & nomenclature
During the thirteen months' siege of Rochelle by the army of Richelieu in 1628, the tuberous roots of this Figwort yielded support to the garrison for a considerable period, from which circumstance the French still call it Herbe du siège. The taste and smell of the tubers are unpleasant, and they would never be resorted to for food except in times of famine.

Also known as:
throatwort, rosenoble, kernel wart, heal-all, carpenters square, common figwort, herbe du siege, woodland figwort, knotted figwort, pilewort

Figwort, a moist meadow herb
Figwort: Where in the World
habitat and range for figwort

Figwort is native to Europe and also grows in Asia and North America.

Figwort: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting figwort

Figwort grows in damp ground in woods, stream banks, and occasionally as a garden weed. Grows best in full sun or partial shade.

Figwort grows in moist to wet soils.

Sow seeds in spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in the autumn or the spring. You can also propagate by division in spring.

Harvest figwort in April or at the time of flowering. Hang the plant upside down to dry and then cut into smaller pieces.

Store dried pieces in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.