Antirrhinum majus Antirrhinum majus Antirrhinum majus Misopates orontium Misopates orontium Misopates orontium

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Small Toadflax

Chaenorhinum minus

  • Name also: Dwarf Snapdragon (USA)
  • Family: Plantain Family – Plantaginaceae
    (formerly Figwort Family – Scrophulariaceae)
  • Growing form: Annual herb.
  • Height: 5–20 cm (2–8 in.). Stem branching, with glandular hairs.
  • Flower: Corolla irregular (zygomorphic), pale violet, approx. 8 mm (0.32 in.) long, fused, bilabiate, open-mouthed, spurred. Spur pouch-like, 1.5–2.5 mm (0.06–0.1 in.) long. Calyx 5-lobed, lobes narrow. Stamens 4. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Flowers solitary in axils.
  • Leaves: Lowest leaves opposite, upper alternate, short-stalked. Blade linear–long ovate, blunt-tipped, hairy.
  • Fruit: 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in.) long, capsule opens with two holes.
  • Habitat: Industrial loading areas, waste ground, railway yards, roadsides, cracks in pavements and other stone structures, gardens.
  • Flowering time: June–July.

Small toadflax has found space for itself in even the barest of places: between urban paving stones and holes in the asphalt, cracks in the concrete and gravel heaps in railway yards. It is native to places south of Finland in Europe and south-west Asia. It has come to us along with human activity in ballast soil, freight, soldiers’ provisions and escapes from experiments in botanic gardens. It is still relatively rare, but it seems to be enlarging its habitat through e.g. the railway network.

Lesser snapdragon, (also called weasel’s snout, Misopates orontium) is a look-like of small toadflax and can be found growing wild in Finland as a casual alien. Also snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) can be found in Finnish gardens and maybe outside, too. Small toadflax is in a genus of its own but is close to genus Linaria, which it has formerly been a member of. It differs from the species that grow in Finland most noticeably with regards to its modest size.

Other species from the same family

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