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

Cymbalaria muralis G. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb.
ivy-leaved toadflax (Kenilworth ivy)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11356)

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Distribution of Cymbalaria muralis
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This is a tiny trailing vine that originates in the Mediterranean area. It is reported to have colonized Britain in 1640 (Farmer 2010). It is now found widely in North America (US: AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV--CAN: BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, QC) (USDA 2010). In BC, it flowers in the spring (April/May) in disturbed sites in the southwestern corner of the province (southeastern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Lower Mainland).

Species Information

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Annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herb; stems trailing or climbing, 10-80 cm long, rooting at the nodes, smooth, often purplish.
Alternate, long-stalked, ivy-like, about 2.5 cm long, more or less round in outline but palmately and shallowly 3- to 7-lobed, smooth, sometimes purplish beneath, the stalks longer than the blades.
Inflorescence of single long-stalked flowers in the axils of leaves, the stalks about 2 cm long; corollas lilac to violet with a yellow patch at the throat, 8-10 mm long, distinctly spurred at the base, the spur curved, 2-3 mm long and blunt-tipped, 2-lipped, the upper lip with 2 erect lobes, the lower lip with 3 spreading lobes; calyces deeply 5-lobed, the lobes linear-lanceolate, about 1/2 as long as the corolla tube; stamens 4.
Capsules, globe-shaped, 3-4 mm in diameter, opening by 2 lateral pores; seeds egg-shaped, with thick wavy ridges.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry waste places and rocky banks in the lowland zone; infrequent in the Gulf Islands and adjacent lower mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 cymbalaria (L.) Mill.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References