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Blue Toadflax
Nuttallanthus canadensis

I just noticed this little flower this summer (2022). At first I thought it was a very small beardtongue but then with enough research it was clear the flower was not open in the center like a beardtongue, and then I finally found that is was Toadflax.

What is toadflax and why does it have that name? I can’t find anything about that. Do toads secretly sit around and make flaxen shirts from this plant? The one thing I did find about it is that the plant supports the Common Buckeye butterfly larvae.

Alternate Names: Canada Toadflax, Old-field Toadflax
Size: 10" - 32" tall
Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)
Habitat: Natural and disturbed habitats, common in disturbed sites such as roadsides and fields, also common and apparently native in thin soil of rock outcrops.
Identification:  Linaria canadensis is native to eastern North America from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south to Texas and Florida. It is an annual or biennial growing to 10-32 inches tall, with slender, erect flowering stems. The flowers are purple to off-white, .4 to .6 inches long, appearing from mid-spring to late summer. It typically grows in bare areas and grasslands. (From North Carolina Extension)
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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