Snapdragon, a favorite flower in gardens of Europe and North America. Millions are also grown in greenhouses for cut flowers. Most cultivated snapdragons belong to the species Antirrhinum majus, a native of the Mediterranean region. Antirrhinum means nose like and refers to the shape of the flower; majus means larger. More than 30 species have been found in Europe and North America. They belong to the Figwort family.
The showy, two lipped flowers are about 1,5 inches long. They blossom first at the bottom and then on up to the top of a tall stem. They range in color from white through various shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, and lavender. Some, called tetra (or tetraploid) snapdragons, are ruffled and quite large.
According to size, there are three varieties of snapdragons. The dwarf grows up to 9 inches tall, intermediate up to 20 inches, and tall up to 4 feet. The varieties grown in greenhouses usually belong to the tall group.
Snapdragons are easy to grow. In warm climates they are perennials, living year after year. In cooler sections garden snapdragons generally live only one year, blooming from July to frost. Where growing seasons are short, seeds are usually planted indoors six to eight weeks before being replanted outside.