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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snapdragon

Antirrhinum majus
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Common Names: ~Toad's Mouth~ ~Dog's Mouth~ ~Lion's Mouth~ ~Rabbit's Lips~ (in Asia) ~Lion's Lips~ (in Holland) 

Actual origin is not known but some botanists believe they grew wild in Spain and Italy. The botanical name Antirrhinum majus,comes from a Greek word, anti meaning ~like~ and rhis meaning ~a snout~, due to its snout-like blossoms. A light pressure on either side of a single blossom will make the jaws of the snapdragon open, resembling a yawning mouth. 

Snapdragons are sensitive to the influences of gravity. Flowers held in a horizontal position quickly curve upward. Snapdragon has been a good source for cloth dyes. In Mediterranean areas it was cultivated for seed oil that was used like olive oil.

Concealing a snapdragon made a person appear gracious and fascinating. Snapdragons were said to protect one from deceit and curses. The Victorian language of flowers states that Snapdragons symbolizes presumption. Snapdragons have a vase life of up to 14 days.