Dragon Flowers

Dragon Flowers

Antirrhinum is a genus of plants commonly known as snapdragons or dragon flowers, from 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.
Antirrhinum used to be treated within the family Scrophulariaceae, but studies of DNA sequences have led to its inclusion in a vastly enlarged family Plantaginaceae. The taxonomy of this genus is unresolved at present. At one extreme, the USDA Plants Database recognises only the Old World species of sect. Antirrhinum in the genus, listing only A. majus (the garden snapdragon, the only species in the section naturalised in North America). At the other, Thompson (1988) places 36 species in the genus; many modern botanists accept this circumscription. New species also continue to be discovered.

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