Linaria: Moroccan toadflax
Height 23-60cm (9-24in)
Planting distance 15cm (6in)
Flowers early to mid summer
Moroccan toadflax (Linaria maroccana) is a narrow upright plant some 23-60cm (9-24in) high with slender light green leaves. It bears spikes of narrow tubular, resembling miniature snapdragons, which can be bright yellow, red, pink or mauve often blotched with white.
Flowering throughout the summer, toadflax is an extremely versatile plant. It is suitable for annual and mixed borders, for rock gardens, and also for edging a path. For best effect grow in groups of five or seven plants.
The following varieties have been developedfrom Linaria maroccana. ‘Fairy Bouquet’ is a seed mixture producing compact plants reaching just 23cm (9in) high. The flowers come in shades of red, pink, purple, yellow and cream, all with white throats. This is a particularly easy toadflax to grow. ‘Northern Lights’ reaches 60cm (2ft) high and has flowers in shades of bronze, red, purple, pink, yellow and cream. Some of the flowers are bicoloured.
Sow the seeds in the flowering site in early autumn (for large early flowers) or in early to. Make successive sowings to extend the flowering season.
Thin the seedlings to 15cm (6in) apart.
Toadflax seeds itself freely so plants will appear the following year if the surrounding soil is left undisturbed.
Moroccan toadflax grows in any ordinary well-drained garden soil; on particularly heavy clay soil it’s advisable to add some grit to aid. A sunny position is essential.
Pests and diseases