There are two sections of Linaria; one hardy
perennials, the other hardy annuals, they vary
in height from one or two inches to a foot and
a half; their flowers, which appear from May to
September, are of several distinct colours.
The perennial Linarias are to some extent rockery
plants; but most of them will grow in any light
and rather dry soil, and some may be made quite
happy in the mortar of an old wall.
has an inclination to disappear from the place
in which they were planted, and spring up, sometimes
in a troublesome manner, in a new site. The best
of the garden Toadflaxes
Three or four inches, with small tailed flowers
of a most charming contrast of orange and violet.
It has a sad way of disappearing and not breaking
up in a new place.
L. Cymbalaria (Kenilworth Ivy, Creeping Toadflax).
Has long running thread-like stems, and tiny purple
and pale yellow flowers.
It needs a warning note,
as it sometimes spreads so rapidly as to become
a pestilent weed.
On an old wall, where it can
spread without invading anything else, it is charming,
but in rockeries and borders it may be an inextricable
There is a fine white-flowered variety
L. Dalmatica or Macedonica.
Grows about eighteen inches high. It has sulphur
yellow flowers. Requires dry, well-drained soil.
L. Repens Alba (“Snowflake”).
A foot high. Flowers pure white, in spikes, continuing
through the summer.
L. Vulgaris (peloria).
Eighteen inches. Flowers yellow, in spikes, resembling
All these sorts should be planted between the
winter and the first stirring of vegetation; the
month of March is the appointed time for average
soils and climates.
After a couple of years the plants will want revision,
and division or replacement, as the case may be.
The annual Linarias resemble the perennial in
the characteristic shape of the flowers, but the
growth is slighter and the individual blossoms
The best kinds are bipartita spendida purple;
Moroccana, varying from crimson to chocolate brown;
and strains with white and light yellow flowers.
These should be sown with all the hardy annuals
at the end of March or early in April; the seed
is very minute, and needs careful handling.
Patches in borders are the best situations for
Linaria; avoid “mixed” seed, and keep
each patch to a separate colour.
Cover the seed lightly and thin out rigorously.
See also : Toad Flax