This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This pretty flower is found in West Europe in the N. Temperate Zone to-day, but is not known in any early deposits. In Great Britain it is found in West Cornwall, S. Devon, N. Somerset, I. of Wight, S. Hants, W. Sussex, W. Kent, Surrey, Herts, Berks, Oxford, Bucks, Bedford, Monmouth, Worcester, Warwick, Stafford, Glamorgan, Brecon, Carmarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Leicester, and Rutland, N.E. Yorks, Westmorland. It is rare and naturalized farther north. In Ireland it is very rare, occurring also in the Channel Islands.
Creeping Toadflax is a plant of waste places, and has the same sort of distribution as Common Toadflax, with which it hybridizes. It is on the increase, being extended by railways, and is especially abundant on the banks of the Great Western Railway near Reading.
In spite of the second Latin name meaning creeping, this plant has not a conspicuous creeping stem, but the root is creeping, and the stem usually erect, simple or branched, slender, woody, smooth, very leafy. The leaves are linear, whorled or scattered in fours below, close.
The pale-blue, violet flowers with veined corolla are borne in a loose raceme, rather long, with calyx as long as the capsule, and lance-shaped sepals. The spur of the corolla runs nearly parallel to the tube. The capsule is flat, with seeds wrinkled transversely and elevated ridges.
Creeping Toadflax is about 1 ft. in height. The flowers are late, blooming from July up till October. The plant is perennial, and propagated by seeds.
The flower is very similar to that of the Common Toadflax but smaller, and violet and white, less conspicuous except in patches, and the spur is blunt. The capsule breaks up by numerous valves, and allows the seeds to fall out around the parent plant.
Photo. Flatters & Garnett - Creeping Toadflax (Linaria Repens, Mill.)
The second Latin name refers to its creeping habit.
Essential Specific Characters:228. Linaria repens, Mill. - Root creeping, stem slender, erect, leaves glaucous, linear, flowers lilac, in racemes, sepals lanceolate, seeds angular.