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Herbaceous Perennial

Linaria vulgaris
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common toadflax

L. vulgaris is an erect perennial, spreading by runners, with stiff stems bearing narrow, pale green leaves that are arranged in a spiral. The pale yellow flowers, resembling small snapdragons in dense spikes, appear from late spring to mid-autumn

Other common names
bread and butter
brideweed
see morebridewort
butter and eggs
butter haycocks
continental weed
dragon bushes
eggs and bacon
eggs and butter
false flax
flaxweed
gallweed
gallwort
imprudent lawyer
impudent lawyer
Jacob's ladder
lion's mouth
North American ramsted
rancid
ransted
wild flax
wild snapdragon
yellow rod
yellow toadflax
Synonyms
Antirrhinum linaria

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Yellow Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Linaria can be annuals, biennials or herbaceous perennials, with simple leaves and terminal racemes of 2-lipped flowers with conspicuous spurs

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, light, well-drained soil; sandy soil is ideal. Full sun essential

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame in early spring. Propagate by division or softwood cuttings in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

After flowering, plants can be cut back to prevent self-seeding

Pests

May be attacked by aphids

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews

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