Butter and eggs Linaria vulgaris

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
common toadflax


The common name for Linaria vulgaris is 'butter and eggs'. This perennial plant is known for its striking appearance, with clusters of snapdragon-like flowers that have a unique color combination. The blooms exhibit a creamy, yellow base that transitions to a deeper orange hue, reminiscent of an egg yolk, hence the name ‘butter and eggs’. These flowers are small and come together in dense, elongated spikes that gracefully tip the ends of the stems. The leaves of 'butter and eggs' are narrow and resemble small, slender blades. They are typically a grayish-green color, which contrasts with the vividness of the flowers. The foliage is often described as being whorled or spirally arranged around the stem, which creates an interesting textural aspect to the plant. Completing the appearance of 'butter and eggs' are the stems, which are known to be upright and slender. They can give the plant an overall feathery appearance when seen from a distance. However, despite their delicate appearance, they are quite resilient and contribute to the plant’s ability to thrive in a range of conditions. In terms of overall impression, 'butter and eggs' is appreciated for its showy flowers and the airy yet structured aesthetic it brings to the landscapes or gardens where it resides. Its blooms attract various pollinators and add a splash of warm color to any planting area.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Yellow Toadflax, Butter-and-eggs, Common Toadflax, Wild Snapdragon, Bunny Mouths, Bridges' Toadflax.

    • Common names

      Antirrhinum linaria, Linaria linaria, Peloria linaria, Antirrhinum spurium, Linaria spuria, Linaria vulgaris var. alba, Linaria vulgaris subsp. intermedia, Linaria vulgaris var. intermedia, Linaria vulgaris var. peloria, Linaria vulgaris var. vulgaris.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Commonly known as butter-and-eggs, Linaria vulgaris is considered to be a toxic plant to humans. Ingestion of this plant can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It contains glycosides, which are compounds that can have a harmful effect on the human body. Due to its toxicity, care should be taken to avoid ingestion and to keep the plant away from children who might be tempted to eat it. If any part of the plant is ingested, medical attention should be sought.

    • To pets

      Butter-and-eggs, or Linaria vulgaris, also poses a risk to pets if ingested. It contains compounds that can be toxic to animals. Symptoms of poisoning in pets may include gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and could potentially lead to more severe issues if not treated promptly. It's important for pet owners to keep pets away from this plant and to consult a veterinarian immediately if there is a suspicion that the pet has ingested any part of it.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: Linaria vulgaris, commonly known as butter-and-eggs, provides nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies, supporting biodiversity.
    • Wildlife habitat: It offers shelter and breeding spots for various insects, further contributing to ecosystem health.
    • Erosion control: The root system of butter-and-eggs can help stabilize soil and control erosion in disturbed areas.
    • Aesthetic appeal: With its snapdragon-like yellow and orange flowers, it adds visual interest to gardens and wildflower meadows.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, it's known for tolerating dry conditions, reducing the need for watering.
    • Rapid growth: Butter-and-eggs can spread quickly, filling in bare spots and providing ground cover in a short period of time.
    • Soil improvement: As it grows, it can help improve soil health and structure through its root systems and decaying plant matter.
    • Low maintenance: It requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for low-maintenance gardens and landscapes.
    • Cultural history: The plant has been used in traditional practices and folklore, providing cultural and historical value.
    • Education: Its easily observable life cycle and interaction with pollinators make it a useful tool for educational purposes in schools and nature programs.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Diuretic: Common toadflax has been used to promote the production of urine.
    • Laxative: It has been utilized to relieve constipation.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant contains iridoid glycosides which are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Dermatological uses: Traditionally, common toadflax has been applied to the skin to treat conditions like acne and boils.
    • Hepatoprotective: There is some evidence to suggest that it may help protect the liver against certain toxins.
    • Expectorant: It has traditionally been used to aid in coughs and removing phlegm from the respiratory tract.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Yellow toadflax has been traditionally used as a dye, giving wool a yellow or greenish color depending on the mordant used.
    • In horticulture, yellow toadflax can be utilized as a ground cover due to its spreading habit and can be a low-maintenance addition to rock gardens.
    • Its resilient nature makes yellow toadflax useful for erosion control on disturbed soils, as it can establish quickly and form dense stands.
    • The dried stalks of yellow toadflax are sometimes used in floral arrangements, providing a delicate, whimsical look.
    • Some beekeepers value yellow toadflax as a source of nectar for bees, contributing to the pollinator community in an area.
    • Yellow toadflax can be planted as a companion plant in gardens, as it is believed to deter certain pests with its bitter sap.
    • It has been used as a fuel source in some parts of the world where dried plant stalks are abundant and wood is scarce.
    • In some rural areas, a strong decoction of yellow toadflax has been used as an insecticide to protect stored grains from pests.
    • Yellow toadflax has been used for biomonitoring as it can indicate the presence of heavy metals in the soil through its uptake and accumulation.
    • Artisans have used the plant’s delicate flowers for botanical prints and natural art projects, capitalizing on their unique structure and color.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Common Toadflax is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Common Toadflax is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Deception - Linaria vulgaris, commonly known as "Butter-and-Eggs", resembles Snapdragon flowers and can symbolize deceit due to its mimicking appearance.
    • Protection - In some folklore, Butter-and-Eggs is believed to ward off evil spirits; therefore, it can represent a symbol of protection.
    • Persistence - This plant is hardy and can grow in challenging conditions, often symbolizing the ability to persist and thrive against the odds.
    • Communication - The plant's common name, derived from its appearance similar to a buttered egg, may symbolize unique or indirect ways of communication.

When soil is dry
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring-early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    To water common toadflax, or Linaria vulgaris, it is best to maintain moderately moist soil. During active growth in the spring and summer, water the plant approximately once a week with 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per square yard of soil, depending on the weather conditions. During the hotter and drier periods, increase the frequency to ensure the soil does not dry out completely. In the fall and winter, reduce watering to every two to three weeks, or when the soil feels dry to the touch a few inches below the surface, given that the plant is less active and requires less moisture.

  • sunLight

    Common toadflax thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be placed in a spot where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. However, it is tolerant and can also perform well in light dappled shade, especially in hotter climates where some afternoon protection from the intense sun is beneficial.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Common toadflax is hardy and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. It can survive in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing temperature for common toadflax falls between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which promotes healthy growth and flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning common toadflax helps control its spread and encourages bushier growth. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to prevent self-seeding and promote continuous blooming. Cut back the plant by about a third after the first flush of blooms, typically in late spring or early summer, to stimulate a second bloom period.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Common toadflax, or Linaria vulgaris, thrives best in a well-drained loam or sandy soil with moderate nutrients. The ideal soil pH for toadflax ranges between 6.0 to 7.0. Amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage and support healthy growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Common toadflax seldom requires repotting as it often grows as a wildflower and is generally not cultivated in containers. It is a self-seeding plant that spreads easily in suitable outdoor conditions.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Common toadflax, also known as butter-and-eggs, is not particularly sensitive to humidity levels. It can thrive in the variable outdoor humidity typical of temperate climates where it naturally occurs.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide full sun and well-draining soil to grow butter-and-eggs indoor.

    • Outdoor

      Plant butter-and-eggs in full sun, well-drained soil, and water moderately.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Commonly known as butter-and-eggs or yellow toadflax, Linaria vulgaris begins its life cycle as a seed, which, upon finding suitable soil and climate conditions, germinates usually in spring. Seedlings emerge and develop into rosettes with spatulate to oblong leaves, staying close to the ground. As the plant matures, it sends up erect, flowering stems during late spring or early summer, with distinctive snapdragon-like flowers that are yellow and orange. These blooms are followed by capsular fruits that release numerous tiny seeds when mature, typically in late summer or autumn. The plant can also spread vegetatively through its rhizomes, contributing to its perennial growth habit. After setting seed, the above-ground parts of Linaria vulgaris die back for the winter, while the root system remains alive to sprout again in the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Commonly known as Butter-and-eggs, Linaria vulgaris is often propagated by seed, as it's the most popular method. The best time to sow the seeds of Butter-and-eggs is in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. To propagate by seed, simply scatter the seeds over a well-prepared soil bed with good drainage. Cover them with a very thin layer of soil, as light aids in the germination process. Water the soil gently to keep it moist, but be careful not to wash the seeds away. Germination usually occurs within a couple of weeks, depending on the local climate conditions. Once the seedlings have grown enough to handle, they can be thinned out or transplanted to other areas.