E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Linaria vulgaris Mill.
butter-and-eggs (butter and eggs; common toadflax)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71248)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Linaria vulgaris
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a long creeping rhizome; stems erect, 10-80 cm tall, sometimes branched above, smooth, glaucous; milky juice appearing when stems or leaves broken.
Alternate or the lowermost nearly opposite, numerous, unstalked, linear to narrowly lanceolate, smooth-margined, 2-10 cm long, smooth.
Inflorescence a long, terminal, smooth to minutely glandular-hairy, spike-like cluster of numerous short-stalked flowers, at first dense, elongating in age; corollas bright yellow with a central, orange-hairy patch at the throat, 20-35 mm long including the long straight basal spur, which is about as long as the rest of the corolla, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lower lip 3-lobed; calyces 2-4 mm long, deeply 5-lobed, the lobes nearly distinct, lanceolate; stamens 4.
Capsules, egg-shaped to broadly cylindric, 5-10 mm long; seeds numerous, disc-shaped with broad wings, about 2 mm long, the central portion pimply.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry fields, roadsides, waste places and open forests; frequent in BC south of 57degreeN, except absent from the Queen Charlotte Islands, rare northward; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

Flowering dates for this species in our region range from June 14 to September 5, based on photo records in the E-Flora BC photo gallery and the Burke Museum photo gallery.


Ecological Framework for Linaria vulgaris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 445 966 1787
Slope Gradient (%) 0 29 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
30 195 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), ESSF(4), IDF(12), MS(11), PP(7), SBS(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Linaria linaria (L.) Karst.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References