Common Name: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
Snapdragons were introduced to me when I was a little girl, by my Nana Elizabeth in Oklahoma. We were walking through her flower garden and she stopped and proudly picked a bright yellow snapdragon bloom. She showed me how to pinch the eye-catching tubular flower to make its “mouth” open and close. I laughed and right then that flower became my favorite.
They are also called toad’s mouth, lion’s mouth and dog’s mouth. A native of southern Europe, the snapdragon has long been popular in gardens in Greece and Italy to Great Britain, the United States and Canada. The bloom colors which came in pink, red, purple, white, orange and yellow were used to help dye fabric.
Today there are 30-40 species in the Antirrhinum family. There is a variety of sizes and shapes to fit in almost any kind of garden. There is even a dwarf variety called “Bells”, which provides long lasting blooms in both solid and bi-colored shades.
They are a fun ruffled-shaped flower standing at attention. Thanks to Nana Elizabeth I enjoy spending lots of time in my garden admiring my own snapdragons. And yes, she did wear a large sun bonnet.
Connie Vee Hayes, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service