Dalmatian toadflax

Dalmatian toadflax

Linaria dalmatica

Common Name:

Dalmatian toadflax

Scientific Name:

Linaria dalmatica

Alternative common names:

Broadleaf toadflax, wild snapdragon.


Dalmatian toadflax is a grassland invader indigenous to the Mediterranean region. It looks like a large, yellow snapdragon and has fast-growing, strong, horizontal roots. It can withstand cold, although most of the upper stems die back in winter and new stems emerge in spring. It is a problem on farms and grasslands in the interior of South Africa.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Western Asia and Southeastern Europe.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Dalmatian toadflax can quickly colonise an area because it spreads by sprouts from the lateral roots and by seed.

Why is it a problem?

It contains an iridoid glycoside, a quinoline alkaloid and a peganine, so it is toxic to livestock such as cattle.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Alternate, pale blue-green, waxy, oval to broadly lance-shaped with pointed tips, 20-60mm long and 20-40mm wide, sub erect, rigid, clasping the stem.

Flowers: Golden-yellow with an orange-brown throat, corolla cylindrical, large, 20-50mm long, with a basal spur 4-25mm long, in large, rather loose inflorescences of 10-50 flowers, summer-flowering.

Fruit/seeds: Capsule globose, 3-7mm long, seeds wingless.

Does the plant have any uses?

Cultivated for cut flower and ornamental purposes.

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