Snapdragon

Botanical Name : Antirrhinum magus  (The botanical name, Antirrhinum, refers to the snout-like form of the flower.)
Family: Plantaginaceae /Veronicaceae/Scrophularaceae
Genus: Antirrhinum
Species: A. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :Snapdragon or common snapdragon;

Habitat : Snapdragon is native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern France, and east to Turkey and Syria.It often grows in Old walls, rocks and dry places.

Description:
Snapdragon is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.5–1 m tall, rarely up to 2 m. The leaves are spirally arranged, broadly lanceolate, 1–7 cm long and 2-2.5 cm broad. The flowers are produced on a tall spike, each flower is 3.5-4.5 cm long, zygomorphic, with two ‘lips’ closing the corolla tube; wild plants have pink to purple flowers, often with yellow lips. The fruit is an ovoid capsule 10–14 mm diameter, containing numerous small seeds. The plants are pollinated by bumblebees, and the flowers close over the insects when they enter and deposit pollen on their bodies.

Snapdragon is closely allied to the Toadflaxes. It is really not truly a native herb, but has become naturalized in many places, on old walls and chalk cliffs, being an escape from gardens, where it has been long cultivated.

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Although the plant is an perennial one, the species is often cultivated as a biennial or annual plant, particularly in colder areas where it may not survive the winter. Numerous cultivars are available, including plants with lavender, orange, pink, yellow, or white flowers, and also plants with peloric flowers, where the normal flowering spike is topped with a single large, symmetrical flower.

The trailing (creeping) variety is often referred to as A. majus pendula (syn. A. pendula, A. repens).

It often escapes from cultivation, and naturalised populations occur widely in Europe north of the native range, and elsewhere in temperate regions of the world.

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In the laboratory it is a model organism, for example containing the gene DEFICIENS which provides the letter “D” in the acronym MADS-box for a family of genes which are important in plant development.

Cultivation:
Antirrhinum majus needs full sun to light shade, with a moist, well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand. Plants are kept moist at all times and are fertilized weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. We grow these primarily during the winter months in the greenhouse. It gets way too hot in the summer months for them to look good and flower in temperatures above 90°F (32°C) here in Oklahoma. Although the plants do continue to grow, they just don’t flower well in high temperatures. Once plants start blooming in fall, the fertilizer and water regime continues and we add supplemental lighting to keep them blooming all winter long. If grown in the landscape, the fall is a great time to collect some seeds for the next generation. Plants do reseed themselves in milder areas and are perennial in warmer climates.

Propagation: Antirrhinum majus or Common Snapdragons are propagated from cutting or division of large clumps and by seed. In colder climates, start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost. Seeds germinate in as little as 10-12 days.

Edible Uses:
An oil that is little inferior to olive oil is said to be obtained from the seeds. The report also says that the plant has been cultivated in Russia for this purpose. The seeds are very small.

Medicinal Uses:
Chemical Constituents:  Antirrhinin is an anthocyanin found in A. majus. It is the 3-rutinoside of cyanidin.

The plant has bitter and stimulant properties, and the leaves of this and several allied species have been employed on the Continent in cataplasms to tumours and ulcers.

It was valued in olden times like the Toadflax as a preservative against witchcraft.

The numerous seeds yield a fixed oil by expression, said to be little inferior to olive oil, for the sake of which it has been cultivated in Russia.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antirrhinum_majus
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week533.shtml
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Antirrhinum+majus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/snapdr58.html

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