Common name: Toadflax
Linaria vulgaris is a perennial native to most of Europe and northern Asia.
The plant is widespread in the wild and is quite common in rural spots such as road verges and uncultivated land.
In recent years it has been cultivated for cut flowers, which are long-lasting in a vase.
The flowers resemble small antirrhinums, and come in a wide range of colours, and appear from late June till the first frosts.
Like Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), they are often grown in children's gardens for the snapping flowers which can be made to talk by squeezing them at the base of the corolla.
It is also a good subject for attracting bumble bees into the garden.
They are best planted in groups in the border, although they can be grown in containers if preferred.
They grow from 300-500 (12"-18") high depending upon variety.
They can become quite invasive if allowed to self seed so it is advisable to regulary dead head the plants.
Sow seeds thinly in pots/trays of seed compost and germinate at 18°-20°C (64°-68°F).
Germination should take around four or five days.
When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into cell trays or boxes of potting compost and place in a cold frame to harden off until planting out time.
Plant out 150mm (6") apart in well-drained garden soil, in a sunny position.
These plants are susceptible to root rot so if your soil is a bit on the heavy side incorporate plenty of grit into it to aid drainage.