Linaria spartea

(Linnaeus) Chazelles de Prizy

Suppl. Dict. Jard. 2: 38. 1790.

Common names: Ballast toadflax
Basionym: Antirrhinum sparteum Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 1197. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 32. Mentioned on page 28.

Annuals, not reproducing vegetatively by stolons. Fertile stems ascending to erect, 5–31(–65) cm; sterile stems to 8(–25) cm. Leaves of fertile stems: blade linear, flat, 3–35(–48) × 0.5–2.5 mm, apex acute or obtuse. Racemes 1–9(–25)-flowered, lax, rachis glabrous or sparsely glandular-hairy, hairs 0.1–0.4 mm; bracts linear, 3–5 × 0.5–1 mm. Pedicels erect, 4–7 mm in flower, 5–10 mm in fruit. Calyx lobes linear to linear-lanceolate, 3.5–5.5 × 0.7–1.5 mm in flower, 4–6.5 × 0.8–1.8(–2.2) mm in fruit, apex acute or subacute. Corollas yellow, 19–26(–30) mm; tube 2.5–3.5 mm wide, spurs straight or curved, 9–14(–15) mm, subequal to or longer than rest of corolla, abaxial lip sinus 1–2.5 mm, adaxial lip sinus 2–4 mm. Styles 2-fid; stigma with 2 discrete areas. Capsules oblong-ovoid, (2–)3–4.5(–5) × (1.8–)2.2–3.5(–4) mm, glabrous or sparsely glandular-pubescent; loculi equal or subequal. Seeds gray or dark gray, reniform, 0.4–0.7 × 0.3–0.5 mm, with conspicuous transverse ridges; wing absent. 2n = 12 (Europe).

Phenology: Flowering Aug–Sep.
Habitat: Dry fields.
Elevation: 0–200 m.


Introduced; Conn., w Europe (s France, Portugal, Spain).


Linaria spartea is known from Fairfield County.

Selected References


Lower Taxa