Butter and eggs or common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)


Appearance: Perennial herbaceous plant, 1- 2' high with multiple erect stems growing from rootstalks.

Leaves: Alternate, smooth, 0.5 -1.5" long and narrow.

Flowers: Bright yellow flowers with a long spur are arranged in an elongated cluster of 15 - 20 flowers along each stem; blooming from mid July until late September.

Seeds: Small seeds are easily dispersed by wind and water, and stay viable in the soil for up to 8 years.

Roots: Root buds form on the taproot and lateral roots. Spreads also vegetatively, root fragments the size of 12" are capable of producing a new plant.

Ecological Threat:

  • This plant has the ability to adapt to various site conditions, in Minnesota it grows on gravelly to sandy soil along roadsides, railroad yards, waste places, dry fields, pastures and croplands.
  • It competes well against less aggressive native plants in gravelly and sandy soils; its capability to spread also vegetatively is largely responsible for its invasive behavior.
  • It presents a problem in prairie reconstruction projects, once it has established itself.
  • This plant is a serious problem in Alberta and is on the state noxious weed list in New Mexico and Arizona.
  • This plant was introduced into North America as an ornamental from the steppes of Europe and Asia in the 1700s, and is still sold commercially.


Control Methods:


  • Frequent mowing will weaken the plant


  • Spray with 2,4-D broadleaf herbicide


  • Two European beetles feed on buds, flowers and seed capsules


Native Substitutes:

Additional Resources