Small Toadflax is a slender, downy annual which grows in arable fields, on dry banks and walls and along railway tracks. It’s a branched plant which bears small, pale lilac-coloured flowers (6 – 8 mm) solitarily in the leaf axils. Each two-lipped flower has a slightly-open mouth with three clearly-defined lobes on the lower lip and two above. There is a slight yellow flush around the opening and a short, blunt spur to the rear. The grey-green leaves are linear-lanceolate and they taper into short stalks. Flowering from May to October, it rarely grows taller than 25 cm. An introduction into Ireland, it belongs to the Veronicaceae family.
I first recorded this wildflower growing near Athy, Co Kildare in 1978 and photographed it at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in 2010.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre