Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill.

Dalmatian Toadflax


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© SRTurner

Family - Plantaginaceae

Habit - Rhizomatous perennial forb.

Stem - Strongly ascending to erect, to 1 m, usually branched, glabrous, glaucous.

Linaria_dalmatica_stem.jpg Stem and nodes.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Alternate, numerous, simple, sessile, clasping, entire. Blades lanceolate-ovate to ovate, rounded to truncate at the base, pointed at the tip, 2-5 cm long, the venation palmate, glabrous, glaucous.

Linaria_dalmatica_leaves.jpg Stem and leaves.

© SRTurner

Inflorescences - Terminal elongated, bracteate racemes.

Linaria_dalmatica_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Short-pedicellate or nearly sessile. Sepals 5, free to near base, with roughly equal linear to triangular-ovate lobes, 2-12 mm long. Flowers 5-lobed and 2-lipped, the lower lip rounded on top and larger than the upper lip, corollas 20-50 mm long, bright yellow, with well developed, orange-bearded palate, lower lip closing the throat and side of tube spurred at base, the spur about as long as the rest of the corolla, the lower side of throat swollen and hairy. Stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included.

Linaria_dalmatica_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Linaria_dalmatica_flowers2.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Linaria_dalmatica_flower.jpg Flower.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Ovoid-cylindric to globose capsules, 6-8 mm,opening by slits into chambers near tip. Seeds numerous, pyramidal, 1 mm long, irregularly winged.

Linaria_dalmatica_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - July - August.

Habitat - Fields, pastures, open disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Lookalikes - L. vulgaris.

Other info. - As of early 2020, this plant has not been found in Missouri. It is included here on a speculative basis, as it seems likely to appear in the state eventually. It is found in every state west of Missouri and in many western states is considered a noxious weed. The plant is easily identified by its characteristic inflorescences and unusual flowers. It is easily distinguished from its sibling L. vulgaris by its broad, clasping leaves.

The plant is attractive and a popular cultivated species. However, its record of overly aggressive growth, at least in some regions of the country, argue against its use as a garden species.

Photographs taken along I-90, Mineral County, MT, 8-23-2012, in Yellowstone NP, Park County, WY, 7-20-2014, in Three Forks, Gallatin County, MT, 6-10-2015, and Laramie County, CO, 7-31-2017 and 6-19-2018 (SRTurner).