Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Butter and Eggs
Linaria vulgaris
F.Scrophulariaceae
General Description:

A common and highly visible wildflower, butter-and-eggs measures approximately 30-90 cm. in height. This two-toned bilaterally symmetrical flower is arranged in elongated terminal clusters atop a leafy stem. Butter-and-eggs grows from creeping roots and can form large, thick colonies in dry open areas.

Linaria vulgaris
Flowers:

Butter-and-eggs is a small flower, measuring approximately 2.5 cm in width. As evidenced by the name, this bilaterally symmetrical, two-lipped, spurred flower is a rich two-toned yellow color; the lips are light yellow with the bottom lip having a ridged, deep-yellow or orange band at the opening of the bloom. The flowers are arranged in elongated clusters atop the terminal shoot of the stem.

Fruit:

The fruit are capsule-like.

Leaves:

The leaves measure approximately 2.5-6.5 cm. in length, are several, gray-green, grass-like, and are arranged in whorls or in an opposite fashion along the lower portion of the stem. Leaves closer to the terminal shoot are smaller and are often arranged in an alternating fashion underneath and throughout the elongated flower cluster.

Habitat:

Butter-and-eggs grows best in dry areas including fields, waste areas, and roadsides.

Fun Facts:

As mentioned above, butter-and-eggs derives its name form the scrumptious two-toned yellow color of the flower. The distinct dark yellow or orange band is called the honey guide because it is a highly visible marker that various pollinating insects use as a target for their proboscises.

Other names attributed to butter-and-eggs include the common toadflax. The name toadflax is given because of the toad mouth-like opening of the bloom.

Linaria vulgaris
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