Now I Finally Know Who You Are!!

If you are like me, you have seen this plant a million times and have admired its pretty purple flowers. I have stumbled across this plant countless times, while out for walks and pottering around gardens. But did you know its name?

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I for one have never known its name. It has always been on my list of plants to look up but always got pushed to the bottom when I found an other new exciting plant! Terrible I know, choosing new showy plants over the beauty of this one. Finally however, after stumbling across it growing in the cracks of a wall near my house, I just needed to know what it was called!

After a bit of searching I found the plant I was looking for and it is called ….. Cymbalaria muralis. I much prefer its common name though, Ivy-leaved toadflax, I think it is a great name for the  plant!

While I was looking up this plant I learned two interesting facts about. Firstly, it is native to Mediterranean Europe but has become naturalised around most of Europe now.

Secondly and I think the more interesting fact, when its flowers emerge first, they are attracted to light. Very surprising I hear you say but I am getting to the interesting part. Once the flower has become fertilised, it becomes photo-phobic and retracts away from the sun. This results in the fertilised flower burying itself in the cracks of walls or just below the soil surface. This action or process helps the plant to propagate successfully.

Now I have a new respect for this very common plant and look forward to seeing it more and examining its flowers more closely!

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Update:

This video was brought to my attention in the comments of this post. It is from A Private Life of Plants and shows the propagation methods of the Ivy-leaved-toadflax. Link to video

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