Linaria vulgarisScrophulariaceae
Whole Plant
Whole Plant
Whole PlantWhole PlantFlowerFlower
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted


  • Yellow toadflax, Ramsted, Flaxweed, Wild snapdragon, Eggs-and-bacon, Jacobs-ladder

The Plant:

  • An erect, herbaceous perennial, 1-3 feet tall, with creeping roots.

The Leaves:

  • mostly alternate
  • linear
  • narrow
  • sessile
  • both ends acute
  • entire

The Stem:

  • slender
  • pale green
  • very leafy
  • hairless or few slight hairs

The Flowers:

  • Yellow flowers with orange throats growing upright on short stems. Irregular-shaped, club or snapdragon-like with five petals divided into an upper and lower lobe and thin, darker drooping spurs. Blooms from June to October.

The Fruits:

  • round to egg shaped, brown
  • 2 celled capsule
  • Seeds: many per cell, dark brown or black, flat, winged, circular

The Habitat:

  • roadsides, waste places
  • dry fields


  • creeping roots produce adventitious shoots
  • seeds are wind, water and ant dispersed

Key ID Features:

  • alternate
  • sessile
  • very leafy
  • flowers yellow with orange throat
  • spurs drooping

Similar Species:

  • Oldfield toadflax (Linaria canadensis) is similar but can be distinguished by its erect, smooth stems and trailing, basal stems. Its leaves are linear and it has blue to purple flowers that can be rarely white.


  • Butter-and-eggs is a strong competitor that can quickly colonize open habitats. It can displace native plants by forming colonies through its creeping root system and high seed production. The extensive root system can make control difficult.
  • On Nantucket, three dense stands were found in 2006 in minimally managed habitats, including one at the Sconset Dump.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Europe, Asia

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Likely Invasive

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no

Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston