Linaria purpurea
Common Name: toadflax
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Europe
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers a well-drained sandy soil. Dislikes heavy clay, poorly-drained and/or wet soils where it is susceptible to root rot. Cut back plants after the first flowering to promote additional bloom and to tidy the planting. Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions where it can become somewhat weedy.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Linaria purpurea, commonly called purple toadflax, is an upright, clump-forming perennial that features violet, single-spurred, two-lipped, snapdragon-like flowers from late spring through much of the summer. Flowers appear in terminal racemes atop narrow, erect stems typically growing 18-24" (less frequently to 36") tall. Each plant produces numerous upright stems with narrow, linear, blue-green leaves.

Genus name comes from the medieval name from the Greek word linon and the Latin word linum in allusion to the flax like leaves of L. vulgaris.

Specific epithet means purple.


No frequently occurring insect or disease problems. Root rot and stem rot are occasional problems, particularly in wet, poorly-drained soils.

Garden Uses

Borders. Cottage gardens. Naturalize in meadows or open areas.