Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Butter and Eggs are Toadflax!

I showed pink and purple toadflaxes in my October GBBD post. At first, I couldn't remember what they were called, then when I remembered, I looked it up to make sure. Was I surprised when I saw that butter and eggs, Lineria vulgaris, which I have in a tub because it is invasive, is also toadflax! I've had these photos exported a few weeks, waiting for a chance to get them posted to tell the story of my butter and eggs, which look like little snapdragons to me.

A few springs ago, I think 2006, there was a weekend where a new friend gave me some plants from her yard, and I went to several plant sales in people's yards. I ended up not remembering where I got some of the plants, and what some of them were. I don't remember how I figured out what the butter and eggs were, but after doing some research found out they can be invasive. I decided to put the plants, which were already starting to spread, in a tub. It's a good thing, because I continued to have to pull them up from the ground for a few seasons. (I don't have photos older than the fall of 2007, because they got destroyed when Larry set up for a different computer I had.)

Here are some photos of the tub through time.

On 10/28/07, there were a few blooms on the lower right in the photo.

By 5/12/08, violets were trying to take over. I didn't plant them, but let some grow in the veggie garden nearby, so they somehow got started here, too.



This photo from 9/7/08 shows the original color of the annual phlox that seeded themselves and grew into different colored blooms this year. The four o' clocks are self seeders, too. The violets were still going strong.

By 5/10/09, I finally got most of the violets pulled out. I was a little concerned about the butter and eggs, but figured they'd spread back out. I don't know how the phlox in the next pot spaced themselves so evenly. I wonder if I moved them around, or maybe I thinned them. I also don't remember if the 'Spooky' dianthus was already there, or if I planted it this spring.

On 6/17/09, both the violets and butter and eggs were filling back in nicely.


On 9/10/09, it looked like the violets were getting the upper hand.

I went out and took the next 2 photos today, 11/10, since I didn't see any taken after the above photo. (This is the first time I've taken 3 days to write a post. LOL)

A week or 2 ago, I got the violets out, and am a bit surprised that the butter and eggs aren't thicker. I'm thinking they will fill out next year. Also, there are seeds that should sprout. I'll have to do a better job pulling out the violets while they are still small.

I'm thinking they will pull through, don't you? (Did you catch the pun?) I'll have to get those seeds put into the tub before they find another spot to grow.

I meant to walk a block to the neighbors who have butter and eggs between the sidewalk and the street, where they can't travel far. I'll have to do that yet, to see how they are doing.

Do you have any experiences with this plant, or other kinds of toadflax? Some did tell me that the purple and pink ones aren't as invasive. That's good, because I really like where I have them.


  1. It's always good when you can put two thugs together and let them duke it out.

    There is some kind of toadflax that grows here in early spring. I just let it self-limit because the heat takes it out. Mine is blue. I usually let all the little blue weeds grow in early spring: Venus' lookingglass, toadflax, bluets, and bluecurls.

  2. I love the planting you shared. I am totally inspired to try some myself. Mine will be in the greenhouse because we are heading into winter here in my neck of the woods.

  3. I have a Linaria/Toadflax but it's different from what you show. The foliage is similar, but it's a lot taller and has small purple flowers. It spreads some by seed.
    Your tub looks pretty full of them.

  4. Hi Sue~~ There are [at least] two species of Linaria that I know of. The annuals that you're speaking of and the perennial L. purpurea. From my experience neither is invasive but they do seed around. I've had several colors of the annual type and L. purpurea comes in two colors that I know of, a pink [of course] and a lavender purple called 'Cannon J.Went.' Purpurea gets much bigger than the annual and it mingles beautifully with the more beefy plants.

    Thank you for the nice comments on my blog. My Aspie daughter is 23. She's very smart. The social side of things is where she struggles.

    Thank you for asking.

  5. Sue, the butter and eggs grow everywhere in my garden and I consider them weeds...yep! I never planted them but they do remind me of snaps. I pull most out but leave clumps here and there to bloom...never knew they were from the toadflax family so thank you for the info :)

  6. Sue,

    In our area some meadows or fields can be a sea of light blue toadflax, very pretty and yes native. The Common Buckeye is known to use it as a host plant as well. Never seen this toadflax you have.

  7. So would you consider violas invasive and a weed? I have them all over the place. I kind of like them, the voles don't.
    Your idea to put the tflax in pot is great. Have your cake and eat it too. :O

  8. I love toadflax and violets and let them do their own thing around the garden. I must say in my garden Kent UK they are not particularly invasive.....in fact, I would like them to spread a little more than they do.....

  9. I have the same kind as Catherine-the purpurea. I've read that toadflax is on the invasive list in the northeast but here in my garden it does not seem to be a problem. I love it! No butter and eggs type though.

  10. I have always liked Butter and Eggs but have not yet grown it. I love your containers and annual phlox.

  11. I love Butter and Eggs. Don't often find them here in Central Texas. Will find toadflax for only a short period of time. Too hot too soon I guess.

  12. I have seen it being enthusiastic in some gardens...But it didn't stop me from taking a snip of it to try out...The Buckeye monarch and painted lady butterfly love linarias!

  13. I don't have any of those but the Butter and Eggs were quite pretty. I like that color. I am not completely against "invasive" plants in the right setting. There are places that I want filled in with a planting rather than a weed. Sometimes an invasive can be a good thing. Oh, look at me getting ready to eat my words this spring. LOL

  14. I don't know toadflax, but the flowers certainly do look like little snaps.

  15. i want some violets so badly !!!love them

  16. Hi, Sue!
    When I saw your post title - Butter and Eggs are Toadflax - I thought 'huh?' :))

    I grow Butter and Eggs daffodils in my garden and have never heard of toadflax. But, I think I'd like to give it a try...

  17. I have toadflax, pink and blue ones, in my garden, when I plant them. They are not invasive here. The heat takes them out.

    We know them as wild snapdragons. They are very pretty. I love them.

    I also have a few tubs that I grow in. Herbs, like mints and oregano, are often put in a tub. My kids think that is what tubs are for. LOL


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