Common toadflax

Common toadflax

Linaria vulgaris

Common Name:

Common toadflax

Scientific Name:

Linaria vulgaris

Alternative common names:

Butter-and-egg , Common Toadflax , Wild Snapdragon 


Common yellow toadflax is a creeping perennial forb, with bright yellow and orange snap-dragon-like flowers.It can form dense populations, mainly through vegetative reproduction from root buds along underground rhizomes.Vegetative reproduction is responsible for the colony forming habit of the plant.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Europe and northern Asia

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?


How does it spread?

The seeds are transported through the attachment onto the fur of animals, humans, and vehicles. Water is considered a mechanism of seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

Can suppress indegeneous grasses and compete for soil water resources reducing biodiversity. It can also replaces valuable forbs in range and pasture land reducing the efficiency of livestock grazing; livestock do not prefer the taste of yellow toadflax and it is moderately toxic

What does it look like?

Leaves: The leaves are 2-5cm long, alternate, sessile not clasping, linear to narrow, and pale green, soft, often drooping with small hairs.

Flowers: Bright yellow and orange snap-dragon-like flowers

Fruit/seeds: The seeds are small, flat, dark brown in colour, with a circular papery wing.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used primarily as an ornamental due to its beautiful yellow and orange snapdragon-like flowers. It has also been used for medicinal purposes and as a dye.

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