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Antirrhinum majus

Antirrhinum majus, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Plantaginaceae
Tribus: Antirrhineae
Genus: Antirrhinum
Species: Antirrhinum majus
Subspecies: A. m. subsp. cirrhigerum - A. m. subsp. linkianum - A. m. subsp. litigiosum - A. m. subsp. majus - A. m. subsp. tortuosum


Antirrhinum majus L.


* Species Plantarum 2:617. 1753
* USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular names
Dansk: Have-Løvemund
Deutsch: Großes Löwenmaul
English: (Common) snapdragon; garden snapdragon
Español: boca de dragón
فارسی: گل میمون
Français: Muflier à grandes fleurs
עברית: לוע-ארי גדול
Hornjoserbsce: Zahrodna lawica
Italiano: Bocca di leone comune
日本語: キンギョソウ
Polski: Wyżlin większy
Svenska: Lejongap


Antirrhinum majus (Common Snapdragon; often – especially in horticulture – simply "snapdragon") is a species of plants belonging to the genus Antirrhinum. It is native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern France, and east to Turkey and Syria.[2][3] The common name "snapdragon", originates from the flowers reaction to having their throats squeezed, which causes the "mouth" of the flower to snap open. Antirrhinum majus literally means "like a rhino's snout" in Ancient Greek.[4]

It is a herbaceous perennial 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.[5] The plants are pollinated by bumblebees, and the flowers close over the insects when they enter and deposit pollen on their bodies.

Antirrhinum majus subsp. linkianum

There are five subspecies:[2][3]

* Antirrhinum majus subsp. majus. Southern France, northeast Spain.
* Antirrhinum majus subsp. cirrhigerum (Ficalho) Franco. Southern Portugal, southwest Spain.
* Antirrhinum majus subsp. linkianum (Boiss. & Reut.) Rothm. Western Portugal (endemic).
* Antirrhinum majus subsp. litigiosum (Pau) Rothm. Southeastern Spain.
* Antirrhinum majus subsp. tortuosum (Bosc) Rouy. Throughout the species' range.
Cultivation and uses

The species is often planted in gardens for its flowers. Although perennial, it is often treated as an annual plant, particularly in colder areas where they 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.[5][6]

It often escapes from cultivation, and naturalised populations occur widely in Europe north of the native range,[5] and elsewhere in temperate regions of the world.[3]

In the laboratory it is a model organism,[7] 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.


1. ^ Tank, David C. et al. (2006). "Review of the systematics of Scrophulariaceae s.l. and their current disposition". Australian Systematic Botany 19 (4): 289–307. doi:10.1071/SB05009.
2. ^ a b Flora Europaea: Antirrhinum majus
3. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network: Antirrhinum majus
4. ^ http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/snapdragons
5. ^ a b c Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
6. ^ Huxley, A, ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 0-333-47494-5
7. ^ Oyama, R. K., & Baum, D. A. (2004). Phylogenetic relationships of North American Antirrhinum (Veronicaceae). American Journal of Botany 91: 918-925

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License