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Dalmatian toadflax

(Linaria dalmatica)

Photo of dalmation toadflax
Photo credit: Utah State University Archive, Bugwood.org

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

Overview

Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: Balkan toadflax, broadleaf toadflax, wild snapdragon
  • Scientific names: Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica, Antirrhinum dalmaticum
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.
  • 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.
Overview map of dalmatian toadflax classification in WI
Prohibited (red) and restricted (orange) counties

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

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for dalmation toadflax was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves & stems: Heart shaped leaves are clasping at stem base. Stems are somewhat woody near the base with branching near the top. Stems and leaves are somewhat 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 extend as far as 12 feet from the parent plant.

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

Control

Mechanical:
  • Keep plants from going to seed. Hand pulling, mowing, or tilling are effective at controlling seed production. Be sure to clean equipment thoroughly to avoid spreading the infestation into new areas; plants readily spread via root fragments.
  • Continual cutting or mowing for multiple years may be effective at exhausting root reserves.
  • Management is most effective if carried out in mid-summer.
Chemical:
  • Chlorsulfuron, dicamba, picloram and imazapic are all reported as effective herbicides to control this species.
  • Use an appropriate surfactant for chemical chosen.
  • Monitor for regrowths. Retreatment may be needed for several years.
  • Triclopyr and glyphosate are NOT effective herbicides for control.

Photos

View Dalmation toadflax pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

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: