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Bee Plant
Scrophularia californica
About Bee Plant (Scrophularia californica) Nurseries Show All Photos Scrophularia californica is a flowering plant in the figwort family which is known by the common names California figwort and California bee plant. This perennial herb is native to the western United States and British Columbia. This is an unassuming plant with triangular, toothed, blue-green leaves in pairs opposite each other on a spindly, squared stem. The brownish-magenta flowers are rounded, hollow buds about a centimeter long with two long upper lobes. This species is a strong bee attractant.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
2 - 4 ft (0.6 - 1.2 m)

Max. Width
6 - 12 in (15 - 30cm)



Growth Rate


Triangular, toothed, blue-green leaves in pairs opposite each other. Broad-leaved.

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Slope bottoms, north facing slopes, slightly moister places that receive 11-85 inches of rain per year.

Part Shade

Elevation ?
-40' - 10537'

Annual Precip. ?
4.4" - 71.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.20"

Coldest Month ?
21.1° F - 56.4° F

Hottest Month ?
46.0° F - 83.5° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 34.47 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable to garden soils

Soil Texture
Clay, Sand, Silt

Soil PH
5.2 - 8.2

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20F° F

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted
Attracts bees, hummingbirds, and a species of small wasp, for which nectar is awarded. Figwort is a host plant for the butterfly larvae of Common Buckeye.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Bee Plant, California Bee-plant, California Figwort

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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