Information on Purple Toadflax

Common Name: Purple Toadflax
Scientific Name: Linaria purpurea
Irish Name: Buaflíon corcra
Family Group: Plantaginaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Purple Toadflax is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Quite common on bare, waste ground, embankments and rubbish dumps, Purple Toadflax bears a tall, tapering spike of violet-coloured flowers which reaches 90 cm. These little two-lipped flowers (8 – 12 mm) have fringes of little hairs on the inner surface of their open mouths and long spurs curving downward beneath. The pointed, narrow, grey-green leaves are untoothed, the lower in whorls, the upper alternate. Originally from Italy, this is an introduced perennial which escaped from cultivation, it blooms from June to October and belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. 

I first recorded this plant in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 2005 and photographed it in Co Wexford in 2010.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Toadflax, Purple
Toadflax, Purple

This plant grows in my garden and I have spent quite a bit of time watching bees feasting on it.