Common Name: toadflax
Native Range: Morocco
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Purple, lavender, yellow, orange, pink, red and white,
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize
Cool weather annual that is best grown in evenly moist, well-drained, humusy to sandy loams in full sun. Tolerates average soils as long as drainage is good. Part afternoon shade helps plants continue to flower as hot summer weather begins. In St. Louis, it is best to start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date or purchase starter plants in cell/six packs, because the best bloom is in the cool days of spring to early summer. Cut back after initial flowering to encourage additional bloom. Like pansies, these plants begin to fade with the onset of hot and humid summer weather and are perhaps best removed at that time in favor of warm weather annuals. Seed may be sown in late summer for a fall bloom. Self-seeds in optimum growing conditions and has naturalized in parts of the northeastern U.S.
Linaria maroccana, commonly called linaria or toadflax, is native to Morocco. It is an upright, branching annual that typically grows to 9-18” (less frequently to 24”) tall. Features long-spurred, two-lipped, miniature snapdragon-like flowers in upright-terminal racemes. Flowers bloom spring to fall in cool summer climates, but usually stop blooming in the heat of summer in hot climates. Species flowers are purple-violet with a yellow blotch on the palate. Cultivars extend the color range to include shades of lavender, yellow, orange, pink, red and white, usually with contrasting color blotches on the palates. Narrow linear green leaves (to 1.5” long).
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 from Morocco.
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids.
Mass in beds, borders, meadows or cottage gardens. Dwarf strains are effective in rock gardens. Containers, baskets and window boxes.