Facts & Folkore:
Antirrhinums are a genus of plants commonly known as dragon flowers or snapdragons because of the flowers' fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. They are native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and North Africa. the word Anirrhinum is derived from the Greek antirrhinon, meaning "pertaining to the nose," possibly referring to the nose-like capsule in its mature state. Legend has it that concealing a snapdragon makes a person appear fascinating and cordial or even alluring. The Romans and Greeks thought snapdragons had the power to protect them from witchcraft. Descorides, the Greek physician wrote that protection would be given to the person that wore snapdragons around their neck. In the medieval period, snapdragons were thought to be the guardians of European castles and were planted near the gates. Women boiled snapdragons and applied the resulting infusion to their faces to keep them beautiful and restore youth. Photo by Bienenwabe on Flickr
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