SMALL TOADFLAX

Chaenorhinum minus

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8mauve
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The plant with leaves is a greyish-green with slender stems to 25cm. This specimen is mostly in fruit; only a few flowers remain lower down.


2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The leaves are broad-linear and greyish-green. Six flowers in this photo; the beetroot and dark green objects are the fruit.


2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Flowers and fruits are individually at the tips of each branch. The hairs are short close-cut punk-rocker style.


2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The leaves initially turn upwards to follow the main stems before curving over. There is often only one stem - see specimens further down. They have just one vein which is central.


2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The fruits are beetroot-coloured at first and look like they might be in two halves for there is a nick going up the sides and over the top where the old style still remains. An older one is nearby and fawny-brown with two open-tops (which look like they were raggedly opened).


2nd Sept 2014, nr Lansdown, Bath. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The outside of the 5 petals are pale-purple graduating to green at the tips.


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Although the outside of the petals are pale-purple as is the spor at the rear, but the insides of the petals are white. A ripening fruit below the flower (on the right hand side of the stem) still has the 5 green sepals (of unequal length) attached.


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Leaves, stems and sepals have short hairs which are tipped by glands


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flower length, from tip of corolla to end of spur is between 6 to 9mm.


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Un-opened flower bud on left, note the splayed-out differently sized sepals and the 5 petals differently-sized all folded-in towards the centre.


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
There is also a yellow boss here hidden.


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The yellow boss inside is still hidden.


22nd June 2008, chalkpit, Ashley Lower, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
There is often only one stem, as here. Upper leaves are almost linear with just a hint of broadening in the centre. The lower leaves are oblong-lanceolate.


22nd June 2008, chalkpit, Ashley Lower, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


date and place unknown. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
An un-ripe fruit. Note the 5 differently sized sepals, 2 short, and three long, with the central one slightly larger still. Style still attached at top.


Some similarities to : other toadflaxes with purple petals such as:

  • Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea) but this is very tall, mostly all purple and in a long dense spike with flowers which are held vertically with the longspur downwards. Flowers 7-15mm long inlcuding spur.
  • Pale Toadflax (Linaria repens) where it is only the stripes which are faintly purple; the rest is white with an egg-yolk yellow boss in the centre. Flower 8-15mm longinlcuding spur.
  • Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) which grows on walls, is mostly purple but with 2 egg-yolk yellow bosses in the centre which are surrounded by a small egg-white annulus. Its leaves are not linear, but 2nd-year Ivy shaped. Flower 9-15mm long inlcuding spur.
  • Italian Toadflax (Cymbalaria pallida) all purple but with paler stripes and two pale-purple bosses. Flower 15-25mm long inlcuding spur.

It grows on bare places such as railway tracks and arable fields, especially on lime and is found nearly all over Britain , Isle of Mann, the Channel Islands and East of Ireland, but is not present in many places. Found mostly in the South and West of Britain.


  Chaenorhinum minus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Chaenorhinum
Chaenorhinum
(Toadflaxes)

SMALL TOADFLAX

Chaenorhinum minus

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]