Lopseed Family

Sticky Monkeyflower © AFengler

Phrymaceae (fri-MA-see-ee)

Iconic Features

    • Herbaceous plants or small shrubs
    • Leaves opposite and simple
    • Flowers tubular, generally two-lipped

    Description (Jepson)

      • Eudicotyledons (eudicots) – a major lineage of flowering plants including most plants traditionally described as dicots and generally characterized by
        • 2 seed leaves (dicotyledon)
        • Netted (reticulate) leaf venation
        • Flower parts in fours and fives
        • Pollen grains with 3 pores (tricolpate)
        • Vascular bundles in stem arranged in a ring
        • Taproot system
      • Annual herbs and perennial shrubs
      • Leaves
        • Simple (not divided into leaflets), generally entire (with smooth margins) or toothed
        • Opposite (2 leaves at each junction with stem)
      • Flowers
        • Inflorescence (flower arrangement) usually a raceme (unbranched stem with stalked flowers opening from the bottom up) or 1-2 in the leaf axils (junction with stem)
        • Bisexual and usually bilaterally-symmetrical flowers
          • Long, usually ribbed floral tube
          • 5 fused petals, in distinctly-shaped upper and lower sets
          • 2-part stigma (pollen-receiving part of the pistil/female structure)
            • Stigma closes when touched to prevent self-pollination
          • 4 stamens (male flower parts)
        • Ovary superior (above the attachment of other flower parts)
      • Fruit generally a capsule (a dry, multi-chambered fruit that splits open at maturity) with many small seeds


        • Approximately 200 species worldwide, most in North America and Australia
          • Includes lopseed (Phryma leptostachya) and many species of monkeyflowers, as well as some aquatic species
        • Scientific name from the included genus Phryma, apparently from the Greek phyrama, “a resin” or “kneaded substance”
        • Represented by 4 species at Edgewood

        See General References

        Browse Some Edgewood Plants in this Family