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Word of the Week: Palate
September 26, 2019 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Common Toadflax (or Butter-and-Eggs)

Palate (botany noun) [PAL-it]: A rounded projection in the throat of certain types of flowers, like snapdragons.

The new season has only just begun and we are already seeing quite a few fall flowers in bloom. One of these fall flowers is Common Toadflax or Butter-and-Eggs (a personal favourite of the 2 names). Both of the names given to this plant relate very closely to its physical appearance. The name "Butter-and-Eggs" refers specifically to the bi-coloured flowers, which have buttery yellow lips and a bright orange palate at the centre; resembling the yolk of a sunnyside up egg. The name "Common Toadflax" refers more simply to how the shape of the flower looks the mouth of a toad.

This flower is not one that we see everywhere in the High Park. It can mostly be seen in the park’s Black Oak Savannah habitats, growing in a small patch, surrounded by a crowd of tall savannah grasses. Having been introduced from Europe, this flower has been identified as being invasive in certain parts of the continent. However, in High Park, we have yet to observe a behaviour of this kind.

Keep an eye out for Butter-and Eggs on your next Fall visit to High Park!

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