Snapdragon — Antirrhinum is a genus of plants more commonly known as snapdragons from the flowers’ fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when properly squeezed (thus the ‘snap’). The antirrhinums used to be treated as the family Scrophulariaceae, but studies of DNA sequences have led to the inclusion of Antirrhinum in a vastly enlarged family Plantaginaceae.
The Garden Snapdragon is an important garden plant; cultivars of this species have showy white, crimson, or yellow bilabiate flowers. It is also important as a model organism in botanical research, and its genome has been studied in detail.
While Antirrhinum majus is the plant that is usually meant if the word “snapdragon” is used on its own, many other species in the genus, and in the family Scrophulariaceae more widely, have common names that include the word “snapdragon”.
Snapdragons are perennial plants often sold as cold-season annual plants and do best in full or partial sun. They are available in a range of heights: dwarf (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches) and tall (30-48 inches). Plant them in a soil that drains well to prevent the roots from rotting.