toadflax


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Related to toadflax: Linaria vulgaris

figwort

figwort, common name for some members of the Scrophulariaceae, a family comprising chiefly herbs and small shrubs and distributed widely over all continents. The family includes a few climbing types and some parasitic and saprophytic forms.

Common Species and Their Uses

Among its many wildflowers are several European species that have been introduced to America and become thoroughly naturalized, e.g., the mulleins (genus Verbascum), the common speedwell (Veronica officinalis), and the butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris). The common mullein (V. thapsus), also called flannel plant and torches, was formerly a favorite multipurpose medicinal plant; it is still occasionally used for domestic remedies, e.g., as a tea for coughs. Its large stalks are said to have been oiled and used for funeral torches in early times. The speedwells, of which several species are native to the United States, are also called veronica, supposedly because of a resemblance of the flower to the relic (see veronica). Culver's root (V. virginica) has been used as a cathartic.

Butter-and-eggs, or yellow toadflax, has small snapdragonlike flowers of yellow and orange and is consequently known also as wild snapdragon. Among the other toadflaxes (genus Linaria) is the well-known American species, blue toadflax. Other indigenous wildflowers of the family include species of beardtongue, or pentstemon (genus Pentstemon); gerardia, or false purple foxglove (Gerardia) [for John Gerard]; painted cup, or Indian paintbrush (Castilleja); and figwort (Scrophularia). The beardtongues, herbs or shrubs, are named for the flower's single sterile stamen that is bearded at its flattened extremity. The roots of the painted cups, chiefly a Western genus, are partially parasitic on the roots of other green plants. Their true flowers are inconspicuous but are commonly enveloped by bright red flowerlike bracts. C. linariaefolia is the state flower of Wyoming. The name Scrophularia derives from the early belief that because the figworts are characterized by deep-throated flowers, they should be medicinally valuable in treating throat ailments (e.g., scrofula).

Many plants of the family are used medicinally; however, only the purple foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) of W Europe is economically important. Its leaves are the source of the drug digitalis, a powerful heart stimulant. The foxglove's tall spire of flowers, typical of many members of the family, makes it popular also as an ornamental. Each blossom, likened to the finger of a glove or to an elongated bell, points downward from the stalk. In England, where it grows wild, the plant has long been associated with fairies—as evidenced by many of its common names, e.g., fairy thimbles.

Numerous other plants of the family also have curious names derived from their unusual flower shapes—e.g., the turtle heads (Chelone) and monkey flowers (Mimulus) of North America and the little red elephants (Pedicularis groenlandica) of arctic and alpine regions. A favorite cultivated plant is the snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), native to the Mediterranean area. Its showy blossoms, likened to a dragon's snout, display a wide range of colors in the many varieties. Other ornamentals of the family include the Kenilworth ivy (Cymbalaria muralis), introduced into North America, and the calceolaria, or slipperwort (genus Calceolaria), herbs and shrubby plants of South America valued for their profusion of pouch-shaped, often spotted blossoms.

Classification

Figworts are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales.
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toadflax

any of various scrophulariaceous plants of the genus Linaria, esp L. vulgaris, having narrow leaves and spurred two-lipped yellow-orange flowers
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Wash the hairy bittercress, sorrel and ivy-leaved toadflax. Place on kitchen paper.
The toadflax tells her to be still: '"I see the Powers, they see me, / I see those Two, and both are gold: / Two golds in one, and both are true?" The harebell adds: '"In the blue?" And together '"Two golds; they said, and 'In the blue?" The essence of what they tell her is that the two dead persons live on the gold of the sun and in the blue of the sky.
Pantos are about the triumph of good over evil, and the good comes in the shape of Pam Cowey as Meadowsweet, while the bad is played out by Val Whittingham as Toadflax.
Abundant forbs were Agalinis tenuifolia (slender gerardia), Aster oolentangiensis, Comandra umbellata (star toadflax), Conyza canadensis (horseweed), Eupborbia corollata (flowering spurge), Fragaria virginiana, Lechea leggettii (pinweed), Lupinus perennis (wild lupine), Phlox pilosa (prairie phlox), Potentilla simplex, Pleridium aquilinum, Rubus flagellaris, and Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod).
Some have picturesque names, like broad-lipped purple side-saddle flower, cobweb houseleek, lion's tail phlomis, livid hellebore, melancholy toadflax, parrot-beaked heliconia, and warty St.
ADRIENNE SAYS: To attract butterflies, plant nectar-rich flowers such as cornflowers, cowslips and toadflax in a sheltered sunny spot.
cespitosa (weedy dwarf dandelion), Nuttallanthus canadensis (Canada toadflax), Plantago virginica (Virginia plantain), Ranunculus sardous (hairy buttercup), and Triodanis perfoliata (clasping Venus' lookingglass).
Learn Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to locate yellow toadflax. Our data helps the Forest Service determine where to use biological controls.
Bill Smith ATHAT looks like purple toadflax or Linaria purpurea with its purple snapdragon-like flowers and linear foliage.
Be o'n i'n ei feddwl ddweud oedd llin y llyffant (yellow toadflax), er na wyddwn i'r enw Cymraeg am hwnnw chwaith (be haru mi?
Flower samples were collected from Carolina geranium, hairy indigo, narrowleaf cudweed (Gnaphalium falcatum Lam.), oldfield toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis (L.)), pusley, spurge (Euphorbia sp.), thistle (Circium spp.), white clover, and wild radish.