Butter and Eggs Snapdragon

Scientific Name: Linaria vulgaris
Family Name: Scorphulariaceae

Flower: 1 in. (2.5 cm.) yellow flower, with two lips and an orange spot on the lower lip. The upper lip is formed by two petals, and the lower lip is formed by three petals. A long spur grows from the bottom of the flower. The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stems.

Leaf: 1 – 2.5 in. (2.5 – 6.5 cm.) linear green leaves. Leaves towards the upper end of the stalk alternate, while leaves toward the bottom of the stalk are either whorled or opposite.

Plant: 1 – 3 ft. (30 – 90 cm.) tall, with many linear leaves, and several flowers growing as a cluster on top of the stem.

Identifying Characteristics: Butter and eggs can be identified by its cluster of unique yellow flowers, each with a central orange spot.

Location: We found Butter and Eggs Snapdragon growing on the Brandeis University campus from a rocky outcropping across from the Faculty Club on the peripheral road.

History and Comments: Butter and Eggs Snapdragon is native to Europe, and it is now considered a weed. It often grows in dense stands, and because it has creeping roots, it can take over areas, where it is not controlled. Several states list Butter and Eggs as an invasive weed. Butter and Eggs is also commonly referred to as Yellow Toadflax. It is called butter and eggs, because of the similarity of its flower colors to those products, and toadflax, because the orange spot resembles a toad's mouth and its leaves are similar to those of the flax plant.

    Unless otherwise specified, all text, photographs, and drawings are Copyright (c) by Shu-Yee Chen and Deborah Hamer 2003. No part of this page may be reproduced without prior written consent of the authors.