Common toadflax, Linaria vulgaris

Linaria vulgaris

Common toadflax

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Linaria vulgaris
  • Common name: Common toadflax
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
Flower colour:

Yellow

Foliage colour:

Green

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.

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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.

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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

How to grow Linaria vulgaris

  • Plant size

    75cm height

    40cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Middle

  • Sun exposure: Full shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Linaria vulgaris and wildlife

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

Attractive to Bees

Attractive to Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Linaria vulgaris poisonous?

Linaria vulgaris has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People