Oldfield Toadflax

Biological Name:

Linaria canadensis

Natural Habitat:

Oldfield-Toadflax: This plant is native to North America, and can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, pastures, and waste areas.


Oldfield-toadflax is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Plantaginaceae family which also includes plants such as plantains and foxgloves. Oldfield-toadflax is an annual or perennial plant that produces small yellow or white flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas oldfield-toadflax is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is toadflax a native plant?
A: Facts. Oldfield-toadflax is a native annual or biennial that prefers highly disturbed areas with sandy soils.

Q: Is toadflax easy to grow?
A: Linaria is a relatively easy plant to look after; water regularly in dry periods; thin perennials; cut back annuals for a second bloom. If you require more perennial Linaria then divide in the spring or take cuttings at the start of summer.

Q: Do you cut back toadflax?
A: Toadflax prefers a light, sandy soil. Cut back Linaria plants in autumn. Overcrowded clumps of Toadflax can be divided in Spring.

Q: What is blue toadflax used for?
A: Medicinal Uses The leaves are antihaemorrhoidal, diuretic and laxative[61, 254]. They are applied externally in the treatment of haemorrhoids[254].

Q: Is toadflax poisonous to humans?
A: The toxicity of yellow and Dalmatian toadflax to humans and animals is poorly understood, but it is most likely low. Exposure is less uncertain.

Q: Why is it called bastard toadflax?
A: Comandra umbellata gets its scientific name from the hairs at the base of its stamens and the shape of its inflorescence. The common name, bastard toadflax, was given because the leaves were thought to look similar to the leaves of the toadflax plant.

Q: Is blue toadflax invasive?
A: Blue toadflax is native to eastern North America and Canada and has since been naturalized over much of western North America, Europe and Russia. It is considered invasive in many of these regions, often taking over gardens and landscapes in between other garden plants.

Q: Is toadflax good for bees?
A: Purple toadflax is easy to grow from seed and bumble bees love it.

Q: Is toadflax good for wildlife?
A: Common toadflax provides a food source for Buff-tailed and White-tailed bumblebees, Common carder bees, Honeybees and a variety of fly species.

Q: Do butterflies like toadflax?
A: The flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other insects.

Q: Is toadflax the same as butter and eggs?
A: Butter & eggs (Linaria vulgaris) is a perennial herbaceous plant, one to three and a half feet high. Also known as yellow toadflax, butter & eggs emerges in clumps from a spreading root system.

Q: Are snapdragons and toadflax the same?
A: toadflax, (genus Linaria), also called spurred snapdragon, genus of nearly 150 herbaceous flowering plants in the family Plantaginaceae native to the north temperate zone, particularly the Mediterranean region.

Q: How do you control toadflax?
A: The best performing herbicides for toadflax control are chlorsulfuron (e.g., Telar XP) and picloram (e.g., Tordon 22K) either alone or in combination. Other herbicides listed in table 4 will control toadflax, but plants often recover from a single treatment so anticipate that spraying may need to be repeated.

Q: Where is toadflax native?
A: Native Distribution: Southern Canada and throughout most of eastern United States west to Dakotas and Texas; in West, Washington south to California. Native Habitat: Open, sandy areas where moist in spring.

Q: Is toadflax an invasive species?
A: It is native to Europe and typically found in cultivated fields, pastures, along roadsides and other disturbed areas throughout BC. Yellow toadflax can out-compete native plants, which negatively affects plant crops, and reduces grass growing in pastures and rangelands.

Q: Why is toadflax invasive?
A: The problem with this plant is that, once established, yellow toadflax suppresses other vegetation mainly by intense competition for limited soil water. Mature plants are particularly competitive with winter annuals and shallow-rooted perennials.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.