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