Scientific: Antirrhinum majus
Common: snapdragon
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Origin: Temperate areas of Europe

Pronounciation: An-tir-RHI-num MAY-jus

Hardiness zones
Sunset
All
USDA All

Landscape Use: A perennial cultivated as a winter annual in Phoenix for winter garden color, cut flowers, formal flower borders from small to large; use for a massive flowering effect during cool season.

Form & Character: Herbaceous, stiff, upright and formal, decidedly European or 'Old World' in character.

Growth Habit: Snap dragon growth habit very much depends on cultivar vigor, ranging from a short 6 inches to a tall 3 feet in height, sharply upright.

Foliage/texture: Medium green, simple, elliptical to oval to 1 to 2 inches long, sessile; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Flowers with 5 lobes which are divided into unequal upper and lower 'jaws'. Give the snap dragon flower a slight pinch at each side and it will make the 'dragon open its mouth'. Flower colors are many ranging from white, yellow, orange, salmon, pink, red, to burgundy. Multicolored cultivars too! Snap dragon flowers are pollinated by bees. Seeds are green oblong with single hair at end.

Seasonal color: Winter and early Spring in Phoenix. Otherwise varies with geographical location.

Temperature: Grows best below 80oF, does NOT tolerate temperatures higher than 95oF.

Light: Partial to full sun

Soil: Light garden soil with ample organic matter, well drained.

Watering: Regular...and I do mean regular even during the winter time in Phoenix.

Pruning: None, except to remove individual spent flower stalks to promote continued flowering for as long as the cool weather will cooperate.

Propagation: Seed will germinate in 7-14 days when soil temperatures are between 65 and 70oF. Press seed into soil, do not cover. Will occasionally reseed during ensuing early winter months.

Disease and pests: Foliar and stem rust, nematodes, Verticillium wilt, Rhizoctonia fungus.

Additional comments: Snapdragons have been hybridized for a long time, and the selection is very large. There are literally hundreds of named cultivated varieties that are generally grouped by height and flower color. Some modern varieties have open-faced, Azalea-like double flowers. There is also variation in leaf coloring, one of the prettiest being 'Black Prince', with purple leaves and deep crimson flowers. Taller forms produce valuable cut flowers such as this image of showing snaps for sale in the Dublin, Ireland flower market. However, dwarf forms are best for landscape use in mass. New cultivars available yearly.