Linaria purpurea is a hardy perennial. This lovely native plant displays signs of life in my garden very early in spring. Its hardiness level is zone 3 USDA, or zone 4 if you’re in Canada.
An easy to grow specimen, I enjoy it because of the blooms that look like dainty miniature snapdragons. The ‘wispy-ness’ of the whole plant, along with foliage that makes it appear much more delicate than it actually is, sways disarmingly in a warm summer breeze!
As an upright self-seeding perennial, every year I am able to collect literally hundreds of seeds from this plant. Having said that, Linaria doesn’t spread in what some may call a nasty way, like Phytostegia for example, as purple toadflax is easy to remove if they start sprouting where they’re not wanted.
The bees and butterflies are very attracted to Linaria. I don’t think I’ve ever viewed this plant during its tenure without some type of pollinator making a visit! What really makes me happy though is that the Deer never graze upon them, even though there are other plants right beside them that are often chomped upon, hostas and a giant blue Lobelia, for example.
This is one plant that will bloom for months. The flowers begin in early July and continue until frost, and works well in combination with andy other plant material.
Seeds should be sown at approximately ½’”depth, and spaced about 4” apart. The plant forms little clumps which are easily divided, placed in other spots of your garden, or shared with friends!
The location where it seems quite happy in my garden is a sunny spot with dappled shade, however it enjoys full sun or alternatively, even a deeper shady local.
Linaria grows to 36″ and the clumps are about 24″ wide. It is drought tolerant, too. Methinks it’s an underrated plant, maybe due to its affinity to its roadside relative, ‘butter and eggs’, but imho, this lovely taller purple variety is well deserving of a spot in any garden.