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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 August, 2015

Purple Toadflax: the perennial snapdragon | Nature Notes from Dorset

Purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea) was originally a garden plant in this country imported from its native Italy but is spreads readily on cultivated ground and has now escaped into the wider countryside where it prospers on roadsides, waste ground and farm field corners just about anywhere. It is not that common as yet but where it occurs there can be a lot of it! We know this to our costs, when we moved to our current property the garden was full of it and despite waging all out (non-chemical) warfare against it it is still coming up all over the place!
It is actually quite an attractive flower and it is easy to see why it is popular in gardens. It is quite a tall plant growing up to a metre high with long spikes of small snapdragon flowers; hence its other name, the perennial snapdragon. As well as being a perennial it seeds readily so it wins on both fronts! You can pull out the plants but the seeds soon develop and grow afresh.

Read more: Purple Toadflax: the perennial snapdragon | Nature Notes from Dorset