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Ivy Leaved Toadflax:
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Ivy Leaved Toadflax:


Ivy Leaved Toadflax: Ivywort, Aarons Beard, Climing Sailor, Creeping Jenny.                                                                                                                                                                                          Linaria Cymbalaria; N.O.Scrophulariaceae

Part Used: Herb.

Medicial action and uses: the Ivy-leaved Toadflax has anti-scorbutic properties, and has been eaten as a salad in the southern Europe, being acrid and pungent like Cress.

Origin; this little trailing plant, with iodine-like leaves and the smaller lilac flowers, was not originally a British plant, but a native of the Mediterranean region.  It has become naturalised over almost the whole of Europe, from Holland southwards, except in Turkey.  It is now a thoroughly at home in England, having first being introduced into the Chelsea botanic gardens from Italy.

Reproduction: before fertilisation each flower pushes itself out into the light and sun, standing erect, and when the seeds are mature, it bends downward, buries the capsule in the dark crannies between the stones on which it grows, the seeds being thus dispersed by direct action of the plant itself.

This little Toad-flax is in flower from May, right up to November, and is visited only by bees.

Gerard illustrates the plant in his herbal, springing from brickwork, but the block of his illustrations was incorrectly placed upside down, so that the plant, instead of being represented as growing downwards, stands erect.  Parkinson, in  1640, also figures this plant in the same way.