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Yellow toadflax flowers
  • Native to Asia and Europe

  • Escaped ornamentals

  • Dalmatian is poisonous to livestock while yellow is only mildly toxic

Dalmatian toadflax with Mecinus janthiniformis

Dalmatian toadflax
(Linaria dalmatica)
Yellow toadflax
(Linaria vulgaris)

Quick Identification

Dalmatian toadflax:

  • Bright yellow flower with a with an orange spot on the lower lip

  • Heart shaped waxy leaves clasp the stem

Yellow toadflax:

  • Bright yellow, snapdragon-shaped flower

  • Long, narrow leaves


Dalmatian toadflax is an aggressive weed that spreads quickly and degrades habitat.  It is commonly found it pastures and along roads and trails.  It is toxic to livestock.


Yellow toadflax can reduce crop yields and create dense mono-cultures in pastures and along roads and trails.  It is commonly found in wildflower seed mixes. 

Both species are primarily controlled by bio-agents in the Boundary. Repeated hand pulling and intense cultivation on agricultural land can reduce populations. Some herbicide treatment took place following the rock Creek Fire when bio-control populations dropped.

Flower of both species are bright yellow with a long spur. They are similar to snapdragon flowers and dalmatian toadflax has a orange spot on the lower lip of the flower.

Leaves & Stems
Dalmatian and yellow toadflax have a single waxy, hairless stem and leaves.  The base of the stem is woody. Dalmatian toadflax had broad, heart-shaped leaves that alternately clasp the stem. Yellow toadflax has long narrow leaves that alturenate are particularly crowded towards the bottom of the stem. When broken, leaves and stems leak a milky latex.

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Toad flax has an extensive, creeping root system that goes as deep as 3 m and lateral roots can reach 4.5 m.

Reproduction & Dispersal
Both species are prolific seed producers but can also reproduce through adventitious roots. Seed can also be spread by wind, water, humans, animals, and equipment.


Plants can produce as many as 40,000 seeds per plant.  The seeds of both dalmatian and yellow toadflax are dark and flattened with wings or prominent ridges.

Preferred Habitat
Toadflax prefers sandy or gravelly soil, though it can survive in variable conditions. It can be found on roadsides, grasslands, range land, and cultivated fields.

Interesting Facts
Yellow toadflax is mildly toxic, while dalmatian toadflax is considered poisonous to livestock. Reports of poisionings are rare however due the unpalatability of the plant.

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