Butter and Eggs

doug_rawlingsNovember 8, 2006

I found this growing by a set of urban railroad tracks this summer, and was enchanted....i'd never seen it before, and had to do quite a bit of digging to identify it....being a wildflower fan, i thought i'd seen most of what grows here in indiana, but this is a new one to me...i wonder if perhaps it hitched a ride on the rails?....anyhow, i dug it up, and it's wintering in my garage right now...there's some in the garden, but i am unsure about it's ability to put in an appearance next season, so i took no chances...a new favorite!

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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Butter-and-eggs, linaria vulgaris, is an introduced plant - early settlers used it for a yellow dye. I always liked it, especially when I was a kid - now for some reason I can't make the mouths gape for my children.

Linaria canadensis, blue toadflax, is native.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:13PM
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hi birdgardner....yeah, i knew it was brought here from europe, but i still think of anything that's been here that long as native....i'm told they also used it as a laxative, and mixed the juice with milk to use around barns as fly poison....

and after all, in the grand scheme, can anything really be called "native"?....it all came from somewhere....



    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:39PM
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botanybob(Northern Idaho)

Butter and eggs can refer to either Linaria dalmatica or L. vulgaris. Both are invasive and are classified as noxious weeds in many western states. They do have attractive flowers, but their ability to spread would keep me from putting them in my garden. They are not native to the US.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:28PM
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Hunting along rail lines is a great way to discover all sorts of pretty weeds.But if you're looking for unusual native plants you may want to checkout less disturbed areas.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 12:31AM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Yes, it's very pretty but here in southern Ontario it is an EXTREMELY invasive species and I personally would never enhance it's already prolific propegation. But if you like it, that's all that matters right?


    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 5:28PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Digging up a plant from land you do not own is stealing and illegal. Digging a plant you have not identified is unforgiveable. In this case, you dug up a weed, but had it been a rare plant it would really have been a loss to nature.

Rare plants, especially prairie plants, are sometimes found near rail lines, as the land is protected from agriculture. If you find another interesting unknown plant that you want to grow, please take a picture or make a drawing to take home and identify. If common, you will likely be able to find in a nursery or as seed. If rare, consider reporting to the local conservation authority for protection; do not dig.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 9:55PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Judy B writes: "Rare plants, especially prairie plants, are sometimes found near rail lines, as the land is protected from agriculture."

I'm sure you know this already Judy but "protection" is in the hands of the beholder or in this case the "writer" of the laws. Our native to Ontario milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is sadly on the noxious weeds list for Ontario and no matter where it grows the Ontario Government, in the interest of PROFIT has made it "incumbent upon anyone who finds this weed on their property or on any properties to destroy it". This, the same government who claims to have concerns about the plight of the Monarch Butterfly who's natural food and egglaying plant is this very plant that is ordered to be destroyed with a vengence.

If anyone is interested in the irony of this governmental blunder in the name of PROFIT, here is a website page that might be interesting:

Monarch Watch - Potential Impact from Noxious Weed Legislation


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 2:40PM
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