T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Linaria purpurea (Purple Toadflax)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Linaria
Species: L. purpurea
Binomial name: Linaria purpurea
Common name: Purple toadflax

  Warning: Linaria purpurea is toxic to stock and slightly toxic to humans. 

Linaria purpurea is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family known by the common name purple toadflax. It is native to Italy, but it can be found growing wild as many parts of the world and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.  It is a perennial herb growing 30 to 70 centimeters tall with linear leaves 2 to 5 centimeters in length. 

The inflorescence is a raceme of flowers occupying the top of the stem. The flower is between 1 and 2 centimeters long with five lobes arranged into two lips with a spur at the end. The flower is usually light to medium purple in color.
In New Zealand it is found on roadsides, footpaths, rocky banks and waste areas.

The flowers can be purple or pink.




A young plant.








The long seed heads March




The leaves of a mature Purple toadflax