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Dalmatian toadflax

(Linaria dalmatica)

Photo of dalmation toadflax
Photo credit: Utah State University Archive,

An herbaceous perennial growing up to 4 feet tall. Plants have waxy heart-shaped leaves. Flowers are yellow with orange markings and distinct spurs.

Overview map of dalmatian toadflax classification in WI
Prohibited (red) and restricted (orange) counties

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Balkan toadflax, broadleaf toadflax, wild snapdragon
  • Scientific names: Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica, Antirrhinum dalmaticum

Classification in Wisconsin: Prohibited/Restricted (Restricted in Bayfield and Juneau counties; Prohibited elsewhere).

Ecological Threat
  • Invades pastures, rangelands, prairies, clear-cut forests, and other open, disturbed areas.
  • Spreads rapidly via creeping roots, forming colonies.
  • Significantly reduces crop yields in infested areas.
  • They are recognized as invasive across much of the United States.
  • Plants can produce up to 500,000 seeds annually. Seeds can germinate in both spring and fall.

Leaves & stems: Heart-shaped leaves are clasping at the stem base. Stems are somewhat woody near the bottom with branching near the top. Stems and leaves are slightly waxy.

Flowers: Yellow flowers are similar to other species in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). Flowers have long spurs and often orange markings.

Fruits & seeds: Half-inch long pods enclose black to brown-colored seeds with wings.

Roots: Taps roots can extend 4 - 10 feet deep in the soil. Lateral roots may grow as far as 12 feet from the parent plant.

Similar species: White varieties of dalmation toadflax are sold under wild snapdragons. These are treated as equally invasive. Yellow toadflax or butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris; non-native) is a similar species with long, narrow leaves.

  • Keep plants from going to seed. Hand pulling, mowing, or tilling are effective at controlling seed production. Clean equipment thoroughly to avoid spreading the infestation into new areas; plants are readily applied via root fragments.
  • Continual cutting or mowing for multiple years may effectively exhaust root reserves.
  • Management is most effective if carried out in mid-summer.
  • Chlorsulfuron, dicamba, picloram and imazapic are all reported as effective herbicides to control this species.
  • Use an appropriate surfactant for the chemical chosen.
  • Monitor for regrowths. Retreatment may be needed for several years.
  • Triclopyr and glyphosate are NOT effective herbicides for control.
Sources for content:
  • Zouhar, Kris. 2003. Linaria spp. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
  • University of Colorado- Extension.
  • Wisconsin Botanical Information System. Wisconsin State Herbarium. Wisflora- Vascular Plant Species.
Links for more information: