Fun Flower Facts: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

snapdragon (antirrhinum)Snapdragon, known scientifically as antirrhinum, is a genus of plants native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States and North Africa. The name comes from the fact the flowers resemble mouths that open and close, when the flowers are pressed on their sides.

Antirrhinum will produce clusters of up to 15 bright and colourful blooms along its tall stalk. Each flower is about 4 cm (1.5 inches) long. The flowers start blooming from the bottom and work its way up the stalk. Flowers come in just about every colour of the rainbow, including red, pink, white, yellow, orange and lavender. Some are even bi-coloured. Modern hybrids include double-blooms and variations in leaf colouring.

These flowers are known for being tall plants, but snapdragons come in assorted sizes. In fact, they can be divided into one of five categories: tall (60-90 cm/24-36 in), intermediate (30-60 cm/12-24 in), short (20-30cm/8-12 in), dwarf (10-20 cm/4-8) and trailing.

Snapdragons are a summertime, cottage garden favourite. Taller varieties work well as borders and cutting gardens, while shorter ones would be ideal for bedding, window boxes and containers. These cool-weather loving plants are often considered tender perennials, but are often grown as annuals. Sow seeds in the spring. They perform best in full sun, in well-drained, humus-rich soil.

Tall varieties should be staked and should be planted at least 30 cm (1 ft) apart. Do not overwater, as that can stunt their growth or kill them; water only when the soil is dry to the touch. The flowering period is from late spring to early fall. Deadhead and cut flowers often, to encourage branches and new blooms.

Snapdragons make excellent cut flowers, adding height, colour and texture to arrangements. To encourage buds to bloom and to keep the stems straight, remove the top 5-8cm (2-3 inches) of the stem.  Flowers will generally last 8-12 days, but will last longer if the stems are cut frequently. They are sensitive to ethylene gas, so keep away from ripe fruit and veggies, dying flowers and excess heat. They would look lovely with alstroemeria, roses, stock, Queen’s Anne’s Lace and statice. Flowers are available all year round, with the peak period in the summer.

Climate zones: 4-11

Fun Flower Facts about the Snapdragon:

  • Snapdragons are called “rabbit’s lips” in Asia and “lion’s lips” in Holland.
  • Snapdragons are related to the foxglove.
  • These flowers have been cultivated since the 1700s, but have only been hybridized since the 1950s.
  • These bright flowers tend to attract bees and butterflies to the garden.
  • In the language of flowers, snapdragons represent graciousness or deception.
  • In folklore, snapdragons were thought to offer protection from witchcraft.

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About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
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11 Responses to Fun Flower Facts: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

  1. ucky says:

    My snap dragons now stand at 60 inches and still growing


  2. Linda says:

    Hi was wondering how do you collect seeds from dragon snappers. thanks


  3. mr. lollypop says:

    she made many spelling and grammar mistakes; like colour… its color… but otherwise good facts… doing science fair project to see how much miracle grow will affect snapdragons.


    • Birty crum says:

      Obviously you don’t know that most of the English speaking countries spells Color “Colour” there are many other words that are also spelled differently. Don’t be judgemental realize we learned English from them and changed it for us.

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Taking a walk through Rosazza’s Greenhouses is to get a window on a world most of us never see. Five foot tall snapdragons greet you when you open the door and their candy scented sweetness fills your nostrils. Everywhere you look as you walk toward the back, you are greeted by floral sights and smells. Sweet peas climb toward the ceiling along one wall and the lush foliage of calla lilies grow in their shade. Depending on the time of year there may be purple irises growing up from the raised beds, or the papery petals of jewel toned anemones, or any number of the other dozen-plus varieties that they grow.


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