This herbaceous perennial has thin reddish stems that snake out in all directions. The leaves alternate on the stems and are quite fleshy, with five to seven lobes. The flowers are light violet and white, with some yellow spots. The plant stems initially move towards the light, but after fertislisation move away from the light, pushing the seeds into dark crevices where they are more likely to germinate.
The toadflax grows in rock and wall crevices and other well-drained sites such as footpaths, usually on chalky soils. It is widespread through most of Southern, Western and Central Europe.