The Strategy – Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) is likely an escaped ornamental plant from Europe as it resembles ‘Snap dragons’. This plant is another one of our troublesome plants due to its spreading root system (rhizomes). Yellow toadflax is a short growing weed (less than 18 inches tall) with orange and yellow flowers with narrow leaves that run up and down the entire plant.
The Attack – This plant is also been called “Butter and Eggs” which contains a poison that may be harmful to livestock. Its rhizomes allow the plant to creep into adjacent properties. It is one of the most difficult weeds to control and due to its potential ornamental beauty, many people do not know it is noxious until it is completely out of hand.
The Defense – As with the other plants that have a creeping root system, mechanical control is not the first choice for control. Each time the root is disturbed it promotes stronger re-growth. Numerous herbicides are available, such as a fall treatment of Telar® XP after the first frost, mixed with 2,4-D with a MSO Sticker. There are also various insects that are available to help control Yellow toadflax. These include flower weevils, stem-boring weevils, and even a defoliating moth. As with all biocontrol, make sure that you have a large enough patch (0.50 of an acre solid weeds) to ensure the survivability of the colony of insects.
PLEASE NOTE – The proper use and application of herbicides can be an effective way to control and eradicate noxious and invasive plants. Before using herbicides, always carefully follow the label and safety instructions on the label. While we recommend the use of herbicides as one of the effective tools for integrated pest management, the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign assumes no liability for herbicide applications.