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Snapdragon flowers consist of single or double hued colored petals. Depending on its variety they may be pink, purple, lavender, white, yellow, orange or burgundy. The flowers bloom along a long green steam and open from the bottom to the top. The petals have a ruffled edge with a delicate, soft texture. Snapdragon flowers are often used for their bright color as they have a slight bitterness with little to no flavor.
Snapdragons are typically available in the spring and summer months.
Snapdragons are of the genus Antirrhinum and were originally part of the Scrophulariaceae or Figwort family. In the late 20th century many families were reorganized using new methods of classification known as phylogenetic taxonomy. Today, Snapdragons are a member of the Plantaginaceae family.
Snapdragon flowers are most commonly used for decorative purposes on cakes, tarts, pastries and other elegant dessert preparations. They can be used as colorful garnish alongside salads, frittatas, crepes, spring rolls and fruit plates or on specialty cocktails.
Although Snapdragons grew in ancient gardens, the actual origin of this age-old flower is uncertain but some believe it was the Mediterranean basin, more specifically in Spain and Italy. Its Latin species name, Antirrhinum majus, comes from the Greek for "nose-like". "Anti" in Greek means "like" and "rhinos" means "snout", a nod no doubt to the Snapdragon's nose like shape. This rather hardy annual thrives in full sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil.