Plantaginaceae-Snapdragon2018-01-25T13:12:04+00:00

Plantaginaceae: Plantain Family — Snapdragon, Foxglove & Toadflax

Kellogg’s Snapdragon – Antirrhinum kelloggii

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

7–80 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Burned or disturbed areas

Notes:

This is an uncommon snapdragon which has wiry stems and a sprawling or vine-like growth habit. Its beautiful flowers are not unlike Blue Toadflax (Nuttalanthus  texanus) but they have no spur and the the plants’s growth habits are quite distinct.

Sticky Snapdragon – Antirrhinum multiflorum

Blooms:

Apr–Aug

Plant Height:

3–15 dm

Flower Size:

Large clusters

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Open, dry, rocky or disturbed or burned areas

Notes:

Apart from the shape of the individual flowers, this could hardly look more different from Kellogg’s Snapdragon (Antirrhinum kelloggii). The plant is hairy, glandular, stout and sticky with tall spikes of pink flowers. It is often perennial, developing a dense, almost shrubby appearance. The flower spikes are “racemose”, producing flowers from the base of the spike upwards. The tubular flowers have a tan-brown withered area on the lower lip. Leaves are linear to lanceolate, < 6 cm in length.

Oval-leaved Snapdragon – Antirrhinum ovatum

Blooms:

May–July

Plant Height:

1–6 dm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Native

Rare or endangered?

Yes – 4.2

Habitat:

Heavy adobe-clay soils on slopes, disturbed areas

Notes:

An annual plant, its flowers are similar in color to those of Sticky Snapdragon (Antirrhinum multiflorum) but in some respects more similar in appeaerance to certain Penstemon. They grow in racemes or individually in leaf axils. The plant is glandular-hairy and with an erect but weak stem, often clinging to other plants or debris. Leaves are < 5 cm, lanceolate to obovate in shape. The Jepson Manual comments that this plant is abundant every 20–50 years.

Photographs reproduced by permission of Brian LeNeve

Foxglove – Digitalis purpurea

Blooms:

May–July

Plant Height:

< 18 dm

Flower Size:

Large clusters

Origin:

Western Europe

Invasive?

Yes – limited

Habitat:

Coastal, open woodland or disturbed areas

Notes:

This plant has become established in coastal areas, especially north of the Bay Area where it has become invasive.  It is not widespread in Monterey but is spreading where it has become established. It is immediately recognizable with its tall spikes of pink-purple (sometimes white) long, bell-shaped flowers with darker spots on the inner surfaces. Leaves are mostly basal, large and lanceolate. Toxic if taken in excess.

Sharp-leaved Fluellin – Kickxia elatine

Blooms:

June–Sept

Plant Height:

< 90 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Europe

Habitat:

Disturbed, open areas

Notes:

This has a slender stem, often trailing and much-branched. Leaves are fuzzy, ovate to hastate growing at intervals along the stem with solitary, snapdragon-like flowers on long straight pedicels. Each flower has a narrow, 8 mm spur extending from the back. The upper lip is purple and 2-lobed, the lower is 3-lobed and yellow.

Moroccan & Split-lip Toadflax – Linaria maroccana & bipartita

Blooms:

Dec–July

Plant Height:

10–30 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Mediterranean

Habitat:

Garden escape

Notes:

These are two commonly cultivated and occasionally escaping Toadflaxes. Both have linear leaves, a prominently swollen lower lip and a long narrow spur. Split-lip Toadflax has violet flowers with the throat swelling white or yellow with orange at its base.  Moroccan Toadflax has flowers that are reddish (occasionally pale violet) with the throat swelling red, yellow or white.

Blue Toadflax – Nuttallanthus texanus

Blooms:

Mar–May

Plant Height:

10–60 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Europe

Habitat:

Grassland, dry slopes and waste places

Notes:

While less dramatic than the non-native toadflaxes, this has the same erect growth habit and delicate bluish-purple flowers with a long (± 1 cm) pointed spur.  The upper lip is slightly lobed, the lower lip is much larger with a pale ridge in the center.