Pictured above: Blue toadflax (Linaria canadensis) by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View as a PDF.
Also known as Canadian toadflax, Blue toadflax is an annual (or occasionally biennial) wildflower that forms a delicate sea of lavender when in bloom. Blooms are light purple with a white patch. Leaves are refined and narrowly linear. Stems are erect and take on a reddish hue.
Blue toadflax is common along roadsides, in pastures and in other disturbed areas. It is sometimes confused with lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) because of its similar growth habit and bloom color, and because they often grow together.
Despite its common name, toadflax is not related to true flax. It is more closely related to (and more closely resembles) a snapdragon.
Blue toadflax is the larval host plant of the common buckeye, and is a nectar source for many bees and butterflies.
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
To see where natural populations of blue toadflax have been vouchered, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness: Zones 8–11
Soil: Dry, well-drained sandy soils to moist, loamy soils
Exposure: Full sun to light shade shade
Growth habit: up to 1’ tall
Garden tips: This dainty, modest wildflower can be a prolific self-seeder as its tiny flat seeds are easily dispersed by wind. Once established, toadflax is very drought resistant.
Blue toadflax seeds can be purchased through the Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative.