There is a plant called Carpenter's Square. It's Latin name is Scrophularia marilandica. Another name for the plant is Maryland Figwort. In the photo below I have tried to darken the background for the whole plant so one can see the overall shape of the plant. This particular one was about 2 metres (6 feet) tall. I also included a side view and bottom view of the strange little flower on this plant as well as a close up look at the grooved square stem.
I have no idea why this plant is named "Carpenters Square," but shall try to find out. If someone knows, please drop a line and it will save some research time for me.
I've gone through all of my wild flower and plant books and can find nothing about the name. Anyone else have any ideas?
I've just Googled for ages and I have no answer for you. I learned about a quilt pattern called Carpenter's Square ... I learned that Joseph, Biblical husband of Mary, is depicted holding a carpenter's square ... I found several sources that say they have no idea why the plant has this name. Good luck with your search!
Thanks for all your searching Marnie, I tried Google for a while too with similar results. I put the same photo on Flickr and have no results there so far.
the stem is square
Yes, Anonymous, the stem is square but then so are the stems of most of the more than 7000 species in the Lamiaceae and Verbenaceae families. So why does this one get the "Carpenter's" square attached to it? Still wondering . . .
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