Snapdragon: Flower or Parlour Game?

History: The  name antirrhinum is derived from the Greek word, “antirrhinon” to mean “like” and rhis for “nose” to literally mean “like a nose,  referring to the nose-like capsule of the flower in its mature state.


  • The  name snapdragon  is from the flowers fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its month when laterally squeezed (thus the ‘snap’).
  • Snapdragons are called “rabbit lips in Asia, and “lion lips” in Holland.
  • Parlour Game – Snapdragon was a parlour game popular from about the 16th to the 19th century that was played during the winter, particularly on Christmas Eve. Brandy was heated and placed in a wide shallow bowl along with some raisins, which were lit on fire.  The lights were extinguished or dimmed to increase the eerie effect of the blue flames playing across the liquor. The goal of the game was to pluck the raisins out of the burning brandy and eat them, at the risk of being burnt. If you do not want your nose to look like a Snapdragon bloom, use caution when playing the “Snapdragon” game.


  • store upright to avoid curving of the stems, as snapdragons are geotropic; they will orient themselves and bend their stems upright in relation to gravity
  • remove tips to encourage blooming
  • replenish flower food and recut every other day to also to insure development of the entire bloom spike


  • snapdragons colours include: white, yellow, orange, pinks, maroons, lavender, apricot and many bi-colours
  • the sweet fragrances makes them a nice addition to any bouquet
  • the leaves are a darker shade of bright green, which is a nice balance with the colour of the blooms
  • use as a line flower in arrangements
  • unusual and vibrant blossoms can add contrast in designs or stand alone in a clear vase
  • gives a garden look to bouquets and arrangements
  • display behind other shorter flowers
  • snapdragons mix nicely with coloured roses, bouvardia, monte casino, stock, and Queen Anne’s Lace
This entry was posted in Flower Varieties, Snapdragons and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Snapdragon: Flower or Parlour Game?

  1. Pingback: Fun Flower Facts: “Butter and Eggs” Flower (Linaria vulgaris) | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  2. Pingback: Fun Flower Facts: “Butter and Eggs” Flower aka Linaria vulgaris | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

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