Stirred memories…

Butter and Eggs “weed” Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

“Butter and Eggs” was the label given to this small pretty flower by a naturalist educating me on which plants in a field were native and which were weed. Butter and Egg was considered a weed; but the name stuck with me and held my curiosity. This particular cluster was alongside an abandoned railroad track. Disturbed land is a common habitat for this species also known as Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).

I prefer the nickname Butter and Egg as it reminds me of my grandmother’s scrambled eggs with butter. She was generous with butter and only partly scrambled the yolks with the egg whites, resulting in several shades of yellow in the final dish. I can only wonder what the founder of this plant was thinking when they chose the name for this plant.

Typical of many Eurasian weeds in the United States there are many common names in addition to Butter and Eggs associated with it according to

  • “Linaria acutiloba Fisch. ex Rchb. is a synonym.[4] Because this plant grows as a weed, it has acquired a large number of local colloquial names, including brideweed, bridewort, butter and eggs (but see Lotus corniculatus), butter haycocks, bread and butter, bunny haycocks, bunny mouths, calf’s snout, Continental weed, dead men’s bones, devil’s flax, devil’s flower, doggies, dragon bushes, eggs and bacon (but see Lotus corniculatus), eggs and butter, false flax, flaxweed, fluellen (but see Kickxia), gallweed, gallwort, impudent lawyer, Jacob’s ladder (but see Polemonium), lion’s mouth, monkey flower (but see Mimulus), North American ramsted, rabbit flower, rancid, ransted, snapdragon (but see Antirrhinum), wild flax, wild snapdragon, wild tobacco (but see Nicotiana), yellow rod, yellow toadflax.[7]

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