yellow.jpgYellow toadflax A.K.A:
  • Jacob's ladder
  • butter and eggs
  • flaxweed
  • ramsted
  • wild snapdragon
  • yellow toadflax

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
    • Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Genus:Linaria Mill. – Toadflax
Species: Linaria vulgaris Mill. – Butter and eggs
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort)
-Where is it located in the world?
  • Yellow Toadflax is abundant in the continental United States and in Canada. It typically grows out West and grows in sites found from 6,000 to 8,500 feet. Though it has been found in places as high as 10,000 feet.
-Where did the plant originate from?
  • It is believed that the plant originated in Eurasia, and was brought to the United States for decorative purposes.
-In what type of environment does it grow?
  • Very flexible and adaptable to many habitats
  • Most successfully grows when environmental factors such as shading, grazing, and moist soil are present.
-Type of plant: flowering plant
  • Reproduce by seeds and vegatively, but mostly via vegetation.
  • Vegetative reproduction ensures the toadflax will spread quickly and with ease. First, stems grow from adventitious buds on primary and lateral plants. Once the bugs are mature enough, they develop their own root and shoot system. This gives the plants the ability to become independent plants the following year.

-Distinguishable Traits- physical appearance
  • Thin, soft, pale green leaves
  • Perennial
  • Yellow or Orange flowers (resemble the snap dragon flowers)
  • Flowers are found at the top of the plant
  • Range in height: 1-3 feet, with 1-25 flowers on each plant.
  • Adventitious buds seen on the roots
-Human Uses
  • Used as a decorative plant in the past, but is now widely considered a pesky weed.
  • Proven to have diuretic and fever-reducing properties
    • Used as folk medicine
      • As a laxative, for jaundice, dropsy, and enteritis with drowsiness, for skin diseases and piles
      • As an insecticide
-->Invasive Strategies of Plant
-Why has the species been able to invade a specific environment?
  • High growth rate
  • Competitive nature: Once the plant has colonized an area, toadflax enters into intense competition with other plants, usually winter annuals and shallow rooted perennials, for limited soil water.
-->Damage Done to Environment
  • The plants hold a toxic glycoside that can poison animals, especially livestock, if consumed. Although, reports of cattle becoming sick from the plants are especially rare.
  • Yellow toadflax are resilient and aggressive plants that are quick to form colonies and drive out native grasses and other perennials. As a result, lands have their species compositions significantly altered, and animal life can suffer as edible grasses become scarcer.
-What species are most affected by this invasive species? Do some species indirectly benefit from the invasive species?
  • Cattle and other livestock have eaten it and it has made them sick.
  • Drives out other perennials and native grasses.
-What has been used to stop the invasion?
  • The most effective way to inhibit the spread of Toadflax is to take measures to prevent vegetative spread of an established colony.
  • Common methods used to prevent spread:
    • Cutting
    • Pulling
    • Spraying seed stalks
    • Using insects to destroy the flower, seed, or damage the plant
    • Even after the current seed plants have been eradicated, there is still more work to be done to prevent future generations from springing up in their place. Any Toadflax seedlings that are still present in the soil must be destroyed every year until the seed bank has completely disappeared.


Yellow Toadflax in History – Fun Facts
The word Linaria' comes from the Latin word 'linon' or 'linum.’ That word means flax, because the foliage looks similar to that of flax.

'Toadflax' was given its name by early settlers because they believed the flowers looked like toads and the foliage to flax.

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Toadflax is from Eurasia, but immigrants brought it to the United States for ornamental purposes.

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Early settlers were pleased to find that Toadflax could treat various ailments. The leaves from the plants were used to make teas and lotions to treat such complaints as constipation, jaundice, insect bites, and throat problems.

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People made dye from Toadflax long ago.

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According to Scottish lore, pacing around a toadflax plant 3 times will unbind any spell or curse.

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The English held that 3 toadflax seeds strung on linen thread could ward off evil spirits.

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