Not to be semantically confused with :
Balm (Bastard) (Melittis melissophyllum),
Bastard Agrimony (Aremonia agrimonioides),
Bastard Cabbage (Rapistrum rugosum) or
Tall Ramping-fumitory (Fumaria bastardii), [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature :
No relation to :
Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].
It is a fairly rare [RR] and grows natively in short turf on chalk or limestone soils mainly in the far South of England and very local in north to south Lincolnshire, East Gloucestershire, Jersey and Alderney.
It has roots which are Hemi-parasitic on various herbs. It is only hemi-parasitic because it can actually feed itself too: it has green leaves which will photosynthesise, albeit they are quite short and narrow.
Despite the name, this is not a
Toadflax; it belongs in the same Santalaceae family as does Mistletoe and Sandalwoods, which are both hemi-parasitic on other plants..
Bastard-toadflax contains the
1-HydroxyMethyl Pyrrolizidine which is one of the toxic pyrrolizidines, not all are toxic. This pyrrolizidine alkaloid has 4 stereoisomers, depending upon the stereo-positions of the two groups: -H and -CH2OH. The four are (-)-
IsoRetroNecanol, (+)IsoRetroNecanol (aka
TracelAnthemidine and (+)-TracelAnthemidine (aka
Laburnine). It is not known which of these four stereoisomers are actually in Bastard-toadflax.