Ivy-leaved Toadflax

Otherwise known as Cymbalaria muralis or Kenilworth Ivy. I photographed this plant whilst visiting Heale Gardens, Wiltshire, UK; it was growing on a low wall dividing garden areas, and also on a wall by the side of the river – attractively leaning over the water.

I like its red-green twining stems, red-edged fleshy leaves and pretty purple flowers which have yellow and white centres. I had to invest quite a bit of time trying to identify it – the usual internet searches using colours, leaf shape, number of petals and habit were producing no results.  Eventually, the mystery was solved when I added ‘grows on a wall’ to the search.

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12 thoughts on “Ivy-leaved Toadflax

    • Yes – I was taken aback when I learned its name – seems a bit incongruous to me. I thought it might have been something like ‘Violet Twining Dream’ or something!

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  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to identify flowers I snap! A really pretty little flower. Not so sure about its name though.. doesn’t sounds quite so pretty!

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        • I’ve had to think a bit on this. I usually look things up to confirm the latin name or specific species and so on, and in this case a simple google of the name will produce the info via the BBC gardening website or RHS or other sites I trust. There are some good forums too. When I was searching for a plant I didn’t have a clue about such as the Ivy-leafed toadflax the other day, I spent ages googling key words and drew a blank with the usual sites. I must have spent a couple of hours on it. Then just googling ‘grows on a wall’ with the flower colour produced some images and possible names which I then confirmed the identity of at my usual sites. Basically I find the following helpful, although they are mainly UK sites with the exception of ‘Dave’s Garden’ which is US based.
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/
          http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/
          http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1330/
          http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/wildflowers-plants-and-tree-forums/46461-ivy-leaved-toadflax-advice.html

          We have a really good Wildflower book which is useful as it lists plants firstly by colour – great for when you see a blue plant by the roadside and have no idea where to start! I’ll get the full name of it if you’d like. We also have an Illustrated Book of Herbs which is excellent. I have an RHS encyclopedia which is excellent if you know what you’re looking for.

          I’ve possibly missed some out but will post on your blog if / when I remember them.

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  2. Wow, thank you so much for listing so many informative guides! I hope I didn’t force you to take up too much of your time. It really is appreciated! I’ve copied your comment so that I won’t lose it, for future reference! Thanks again!

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    • ..And yes, I’d love to know the name of the Wildflower book. I have one for here in South Africa.. but I’m not always in South Africa.. I’ll have to start a collection of books by the looks of things! Cheers muchly!

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      • No problems Lu – I hope you find them useful. If I think of the others I occasionally look at, I’ll let you know (and any new ones). Here are the details for the book: ‘A Field Guide in Colour to Wild Flowers’ by Dietmar Aichele. I just googled it for availablity and it looks like it’s out of print but it’s available on the second hand market. I highly recommend it, or one similar, as the plants are organised by colour, number of petals and so on, making it easier to find the mystery plant. A good illustrated book of herbs is a must too, as they list all the herbaceous perennials.

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  3. Great! I’ve stuck it on my Amazon wish list for the next time I am in the UK.. Hopefully I’ll be there in the next month or two!

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