Sun exposure:
Full shade
South facing, west facing
Position in border:


Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) is a pretty and colourful native wildflower that's commonly seen growing on open sunny sites like verges, hedge banks and open meadows. In the garden, common toadflax is well suited to growing in a meadow, a naturalistic or cottage style of garden, or on a bank, where the blooms bring colour for months as well as providing an excellent food source for bees and other pollinators. Its leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the toadflax brocade moth.

Attractive flowers are borne on slender upright stems, tightly packed or in clusters, above slender green leaves. The individual blooms are similar in shape to snapdragons (though unrelated), with two-lipped flowers 20-35mm long that have deeper yellow or orange-yellow centres and pale-yellow petals – hence its other common name of ‘butter and eggs’.

Common toadflax needs plenty of sun and a free-draining soil that isn’t too fertile. This useful plant is hardy and needs little care once established, apart from cutting back dead or faded growth. Flowering may be sporadic, and cutting back the faded stems after the first flush of flowers helps encourage more later in the season.

Other species of Linaria, include purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea), as well as cultivated varieties of Linaria vulgaris. Note that ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) belongs to the same family as common toadflax but is distinctly different in looks, habit, and growing requirements.

Advice on buying common toadflax

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  • Common toadflax is usually available to buy from seed or plug plants

Where to buy common toadflax

Plant calendar


Linaria and wildlife

Linaria is known for attracting bees and beneficial insects. It is a caterpillar food plant.

Is known to attract Bees
Is known to attract Beneficial insects
Beneficial insects
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Butterflies/​Moths
Is not known to attract Other pollinators
Other pollinators

Is Linaria poisonous?

Linaria has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Cats
Is not known to attract Dogs
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock
Is not known to attract People