Linaria vulgaris (Butter and Eggs)
|Also known as:||Yellow Toadflax|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; fields, along roads|
|Bloom season:||June - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Spike-like raceme 3 to 6 inches long of irregular yellow and orange flowers, each ¾ to 1 inch long. The upper lip of each flower is divided into 2 lobes, the lower lip into 3, with a long narrow spur hanging down at the base that holds nectar. The lips and spur are yellow; an orange palate projects from the center.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 2½ inches long and 1/8 to 1/6 inch wide with pointed tips and no leaf stalk. Attachment is alternate, but they can be tightly packed along the stem so may appear opposite or whorled. Leaves are toothless; leaves and stems are hairless.
Butter and Eggs is an invasive species which has spread to more than half the counties in Minnesota. It tends to grow in clumps and spreads vegetatively as well as by seed. Its main blooming season is early to mid summer, but it's not unusual to find some patches blooming in late spring or early fall. The flowers are very similar to Dalmatian Toadflax (L. dalmatica) but that species has broad leaves. Like several other species, Linaria has been moved from the Scrophulariaceae (Figwort) family to Plantaginaceae (Plantain).
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in St. Paul.
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