Toadflax (common) Linaria vulgaris

“And thou Linaria, mingle in my wreathThy golden dragons”- Anne Pratt, ‘Toadflax’ 

Description

Also known as the Wild Snapdragon, the pale yellow and orange snapdragon flowers of toadflax are often to be seen on roadsides and waste places, providing a splash of colour right into late autumn.

How to spot it

Pale yellow snapdragon-like flowers with darker yellow to orange centres are carried in spikes above profuse, narrow, slightly greyish coloured leaves.

 

Where it grows

In open grassy places, on stony and waste ground, hedge banks, road verges, railway embankments and cultivated land.

Best time to see

In flower July to October. A late bloomer, it often is at its best in the autumn and can even flower in November if grass is given a late cut.

How's it doing?

Stable, though there have been local losses in the north.

3 things you might not know

  • The orange-yellow streak on the lip of the flower acts as a honey guide path for the bees which pollinate it.
  • In the 17th century people placed toadflax leaves under their bare feet and between their toes to ward off fever.
  • It was once used as a source of yellow dye for cloth.