Species of the Month March 2020


Ivy-leaved Toaflax Cymbalaria muralis


A common sight on urban walls, shingle beaches and other habitats throughout Wales, Ivy-leaved Toadflax is a Mediterranean species which has been naturalised in Britain since at least the 17th century. A trailing plant with a reddish tinge to the stem and leaves, the purple flowers are like miniature snapdragons and the leaves are ivy-shaped.

Interestingly, after pollination this plant becomes negatively phototrophic, growing away from light so that seed capsules reach suitable dark crevices before bursting. This mechanism allows the plant to spread quickly in suitable habitat.

Ivy-leaved Toadflax is found throughout south east Wales, but we only have less than 1000 records in the SEWBReC database. You can view the Welsh distribution here on Aderyn.

More information about Ivy-leaved Toadflax can be found from Plantlife and on blogs including BugWoman and the Frustrated Gardener.

If you spot Ivy-leaved Toadflax during March (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.