Cymbalaria Hill

Cymbalaria is a genus with ca. ten species in Eurasia (from western Europe to Iran). Its center of diversity lies in Europe where most species occur (Webb 1972, Sutton 1988, Mabberley 2008). None is native to Belgium but several are cultivated as ornamentals for rock gardens (e.g. McKean 2000, Jäger & al. 2008). Two of these are known as escapes from cultivation in Belgium. 

A hybrid of these two species is also grown for ornament and was recently discovered in the British Isles (Wilcox & Ruhsam 2020). The same authors present an overview of other species likely to occur as escapes in the wild in Belgium.

Cymbalaria is closely related to Linaria and both have been considered congeneric in the past. However, molecular data distinguish, within the Antirrhineae tribe, a distinct Cymbalaria lineage (e.g. Vargas & al. 2004, Fernández-Mazuecos & al. 2013).

1       Corolla ca. 9-15 mm, incl. spur 1.5-3 mm long. Capsule much longer than calyx. Stem and leaves usually glabrous at maturity. Stem long and trailing, up to 60 cm long === Cymbalaria muralis

         Corolla ca. 15-25 mm, incl. spur 6-9 mm long. Capsule slightly longer than calyx. Stem and leaves persistently puberulent. Stem short, usually not exceeding 20 cm === C. pallida


Carnicero P., Sáez L., Garcia-Jacas N. & Galbany-Casals M. (2017) Different speciation types meet in a Mediterranean genus: The biogeographic history of Cymbalaria (Plantaginaceae). Taxon 66(2): 393-407. [available online at:

Fernández-Mazuecos M., Blanco-Pastor J.L. & Vargas P. (2013) A Phylogeny of Toadflaxes (Linaria Mill.) Based on Nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer Sequences: Systematic and Evolutionary Consequences. International Journal of Plant Sciences 174(2): 234-249. [available online at:]

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

McKean D.R. (2000) Cymbalaria. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 310.

Sutton D.A. (1988) A revision of the tribe Antirrhineae. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Vargas P., Rosselló J.A., Oyama R. & Güemes J. (2004) Molecular evidence for naturalness of genera in the tribe Antirrhineae (Scrophulariaceae) and three independent evolutionary lineages from the New World and the Old. Plant Systematics and Evolution 249(3-4): 151-172. [available online at:]

Webb D.A. (1972) Cymbalaria. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, volume 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 236-238.

Webb D.A. (1972) Flora Europaea: notulae sytematicae ad floram Europaeam spectantes: no.12. Scrophulariaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 65(2): 265-266.

Wilcox M. & Ruhsam M. (2020) The genus Cymbalaria Hill (Toadflaxes) in Britain and the discovery of C. muralis × C. pallida. B.S.B.I. News 143: 13-21. [available online at:

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith