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Friday, February 21, 2014

Flower Friday: Get to know the spring beauty of blue toadflax

Blue toadflax (Linaria canadensis)
Blue toadflax (Linaria canadensis)
Blue toadflax (Linaria canadensis)

Having been quiet for most of the winter, blue toadflax is now starting to peak on roadsides throughout the state. 

Also known as Canadian toadflax, toadflax is an annual (or occasionally biennial) wildflower that forms a delicate sea of lavender when in bloom. It is common along roadsides, in pastures and in other disturbed areas. It is sometimes confused with lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) because of its similar growth habit and bloom color, and because they often grow together. The leaves of toadflax, however, are refined and needle-like; its flower form is more like that of a small snapdragon, and its erect stems take on a reddish hue. Toadflax is the larval host plant of the common buckeye, and is a nectar source for many bees and butterflies.  

Family: Plaintain (Plantaginaceae)
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida (Zones 8–10).
Soil: Toadflax does well in slightly moist, loamy soils to very dry, sandy soils.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Growth habit: Plants typically grow to about 1 foot tall.
Garden tips: This modest wildflower can be a prolific self-seeder as its tiny flat seeds are easily dispersed by wind. Once established, toadflax is very drought resistant.

1 comment:

Loret said...

I love my toadflax and it is especially fun to watch the cottontail rabbits suck them down like a bowl of spaghetti.