Sunday, 21 March 2010

Linaria purpurea ~ Purple Toadflax

Purple Toadflax - Linaria purpurea
This very hardy perennial & native plant is already displaying signs of life in my garden.
Shall take a picture and add it later today. (Zone: 3 - 9 USDA).
It's such an easily grown specimen. I enjoy it because of the blooms that look like dainty miniature snapdragons, the wispy-ness of the structure, and the foliage that makes it appear much more delicate than it actually is, especially while it's swaying in a warm summer breeze!
It's an upright perennial that self-seeds. Last year I was able to collect literally hundreds and hundreds of seeds from this plant. It doesn't self-seed in a nasty way like some other plants do, Phytostegia comes to mind, and it's easy to remove if they start to grow where they're not wanted.
The bees and butterflies were all over them. I don't think I ever looked at the plant during its growing phase without there being some type of pollinator on it! And what else made me really happy was the Deer did not graze upon them, even though there are other flowers right beside them that were chomped upon, my giant blue Lobelia for one.
The classic pink/mauve little blooms show for months, from July, right through until frost.
This plant is in well-drained soil, which isn't very difficult to provide here in rocky Haliburton, and I sowed the seeds at ½’”depth, and spaced 4” apart. The plant forms little clumps which can easily be divided, placed in other spots of your garden, or, shared with friends!The location I've provided, and where it seems quite happy is a partly shady spot, but I'm pretty sure it would tolerate full sun or even a bit deeper shade.
Linaria grows to 36" and the clumps are about 24" wide. It is drought tolerant, too!
Methinks it's an underrated plant, maybe due to it's affinity to its relative, butter and eggs, which grows anywhere, but this lovely native is well deserving of a spot in the garden!
Happy Gardening! : )


Organic Herb Gardening said...

I have really been enjoying your blog so far. That is really exciting to see that you will be enjoying those in your garden. I really hope I can put some of those in my garden soon.

Vilt og vakkert said...


Very interesting flower. Think I will have som for this summer.
Have a nice week!

Bernie said...

It is gorgeous ... and what a pretty addition it would make to any garden.

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Thanks very much, Organic Herb Gardening! That's very kind and I'm happy you're enjoying it here : )

Thanks, Wild and Beautiful! (I've just used Google translator for the first time and hope it works!) Wishing you much success if you choose to grow the Linaria. I doubt you'll have any troubles! Just browsed your travel blog. Spectacular photos. Loved the Morrocan scene.

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

I think it's pretty versatile, Bernie. Likely could be pushed up a zone as well, especially since it's so drought tolerant. I like the colour, too : )

debsgarden said...

Beautiful! I definitely will add this to my list of plants to try. Thanks!

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Thanks, Deb! That's just great! Let me know how it goes : )

gippslandgardener said...

What a pretty flower the name just doesn't seem to suit it at all! I'm going to have to see if we can get/grow it here as something beautiful that attracts the bees too is worth hunting down!

Meredith said...

So dainty and pretty -- but what a horrible name it's got! I bet that's got something to do with its lack of recognition. Poor purple toadflax. Someone should come along and start a re-nicknaming campaign.

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Lol, Meredith! I bet you're right! A campaign should be undertaken. That name is most unflattering. I keep thinking toad flatulence whenever I read it. Likely shouldn't admit that here ; )

Helen at summerhouse said...

I'm wondering if this is what is what I have in my garden, although my flower is bit deeper purple. I don't remember ever planting it, but I have swatches of it in the front and back garden. I thought originally it was a gift from the birds. It self seeds but is easy to pull out where you don't want it. Did Canadian Gardening ever reply about the blogging job?