Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

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A perennial that reproduces primarily by sprouting from its extensive, creeping root system (rhizomes). Stems are erect, hairless, generally un-branched and can grow to 1 m tall. Mature plants may have 1 to 25 stems. Leaves are soft, lance-shaped, pale green, and very numerous. Leaves are mainly alternate but may appear opposite on the lower stem due to crowding. Leaves can be up to 10 cm long and are attached directly to the stem. Flowers are bright yellow, arranged alternately in dense spikes at the ends of stems and have a long spur extending from the base that is usually as long as the flower itself – in all, to 3.5 cm long. The snapdragon-like flowers can have orange coloring on the throat. The seeds are winged, disk-shaped, and dark brown to black.

Key Identifiers
  • Creeping roots
  • Narrow lance shaped leaves
  • Yellow snap dragon like flowers
Location in Canada
Yellow Toadflax has been reported in all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Nunavat.


Maureen Vadnais, 2000
Similar species
Dalmation toadflax (Linaria dalmatica) is similar in appearance, but has heart-shaped, clasping leaves, and is generally a larger plant.

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) before flowering can easily be mistaken for yellow toadflax, but stems do not contain the milky latex that spurge does.

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Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) - Current Document
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Chris Neeser.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on March 30, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 21, 2018.