- Linaria vulgaris
Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica) is an attractive, hardy perennial plant that can withstand cooler weather and is toxic to animals, though poisoning is rare since livestock will generally avoid consuming it. Dalmatian toadlfax infestations reduce available forage for cattle and wildlife, and is found along roadsides, in gardens, cultivated fields, and other open, disturbed areas of BC. It is an aggressive competitor for native grasses and wildflowers at low- to mid-elevation areas.
Dalmatian toadflax grows up to 1.2 m with cheerful yellow snapdragon-like flowers and pale green heart-shaped leaves. A milky juice appears when stems or leaves break. A single plant can have up to 25 flowering stems, and mature plants produce up to 500,000 seeds annually. Seeds spread quickly by the wind and by birds and animals. Plants also form horizontal roots as along as 3.7 m, allowing for aggressive growth!
Though a pretty plant, dalmatian toadflax remains a concern for farms and grasslands in BC's interior. It is considered provincially noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, and is found throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen, Thompson, East Kootenay, Cariboo, Skeena, and Boundary areas. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and was introduced to North America in the late 1800s. It appeared in southeast BC by 1940, on Vancouver Island by 1951, and in central BC by 1953.