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Antirrhinum (金鱼草)



About Antirrhinum:

  • Antirrhinum is commonly known as dragon flowers or snapdragons because its flowers laterally squeezed open like dragon opens and closes its mouth.

  • It is also called the lion’s mouth, calf’s snout and toad’s mouth.

  • The word “Antirrhinum is derived from the Greek “ἀντίρρινον antirrhiron” which means “calf’s snout.”

  • Antirrhinum is native to rocky area of Europe, U.S.A. and North Africa

  • The plant is in the Plantaginaceae within the tribe Antirrhineae which it used to be treated within the family Scrophulariaceae.

  • The range of heights can be classified as: midget (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches), and tall (30-48 inches).


Plant Care:

  • Snapdragons are cold-season annual plants and do well with full or partial sun.

  • Well drained soil.

  • Long period of high temperature can result as not flourish to Antirrhinum.


How to plant snapdragon by its seed?

  • Sow the seed on the surface of the soil eight weeks before last frost and keep it indoor.

  • It is better to sowed in Vermiculite and water from below.

  • Seeds will be germinated within ten to twenty days

  • After last frost, the plant is ready to be planted outdoor.

  • *Tips, pick the spent flowers to encourage more blooms.

  • Aphids is a common problem for Snapdragon as it likes plant with high nitrogen levels and soft new growth; therefore, do not over fertilize the Snapdragon plant.

  • Pinch or prune off heavily infested leaves or other plant parts.

  • Overhead watering could course rust disease, so avoid overhead watering if possible.

  • Make sure to give proper space between each plant to create better air circulation.


Flower Usage:

Antirrhinum seeds can make cooking oil which is sometimes sold as herbal remedy to reduce swellings.


History, Stories and Symbols:

  • Back in the ancient Romans and Greeks, people believe snapdragons had the magical power to protect them from witchcraft.

  • The Greek physician, Descorides, wrote that by wearing snapdragon around one’s neck would be given protection.

  • Snapdragons were thought to be the guardians of European castles in the medieval period and were planted near the gates.

  • The ancient historian Pliny wrote, women boiled snapdragons and applied to their faces to keep them beautiful and restore youth. (Sadly, this has never been proved to work.)

  • Pliny also wrote that wearing a bracelet made of snapdragons was once thought to make the wearer immune to poisons. (Even though there is no proved to be true, but snapdragon is not poisonous to children or pets.)

  • According to European folklore, stepping on snapdragons can break black magic spells. However, this and the existence of black magic has never been proven in a clinical trial

  • Snapdragon would keep the baby from being afraid of evil spirits by hung near a baby in Early German society.

  • In Russia, snapdragons were believed to boost the body and restore energy and oil was made from the seeds and used like butter.

  • A bouquet of snapdragons, in the Victorian era, usually meant a proposal was coming soon.

  • A person supposed to be fascinating and alluring by hiding a snapdragon in the his or her clothing.

  • In the Victorian era, a bouquet of snapdragons usually meant a proposal was coming soon. Hiding a snapdragon in the clothing was supposed to make a person fascinating and alluring. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, snapdragons either meant deception or graciousness.

  • By putting snapdragon on middle ages women represent they are not interested in any “unwanted attention” from men, which this brings out the meaning of deception and denial for snapdragon.

  • When women wore this flower, it means presumption, as they are not up for any advances.

  • Sending snapdragon to a person connoted that the recipient is attractive, but deceptive and somewhat dangerous.

  • Snapdragon is widely used in bridal bouquets as it is symbolic of a marriage union consisting of blessings and fortune.


Other Flower Meanings of Snapdragon:

  • Purple snapdragon means spirituality.

  • Red snapdragon means love and giving positive energy to the receiver.

  • Yellow snapdragon means smiles, happiness and overall good luck.

  • White snapdragon means purity, grace, innocence and good magic.

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