Herb: Carpenter's Square

Latin name: Scrophularia marilandica

Synonyms: Scrophularia marylandica

Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Medicinal use of Carpenter's Square:

Alterative, appetizer, diaphoretic, vermifuge and vulnerary. A tea made from the roots is diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic. It has been used in the treatment of irregular menses, fevers and piles. A poultice made from the roots is a folk remedy for cancer. Carpenter's square is said to have similar properties to the knotted figwort, S. nodosa. These properties are:- Knotted figwort is a plant that supports detoxification of the body and it may be used as a treatment for various kinds of skin disorders. The whole plant is alterative, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, mildly purgative and stimulant. It is harvested as the plant comes into flower in the summer and can be dried for later use. A decoction is applied externally to sprains, swellings, burns, inflammations etc, and is said to be useful in treating chronic skin diseases, scrofulous sores and gangrene. The leaves can also be applied fresh or be made into an ointment. Internally, the plant is used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases (such as eczema, psoriasis and pruritis), mastitis, swollen lymph nodes and poor circulation. It should not be prescribed for patients with heart conditions. The root is anthelmintic.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets.

Propagation of Carpenter's Square:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets.

Known hazards of Scrophularia marilandica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.