Bocche di leone fiori

Information and botanical notes

snapdragons are the flowers of the Antirrhinum majus plant, commonly called in this way due to the particular shape of the petals that vaguely resemble the mouth of an animal. This plant native to the Mediterranean basin and North Africa, is widely spread all over the world for its particular panicle inflorescence rich in fragrant flowers and for its ease of adaptation. In its natural habitat, the snapdragon grows spontaneously on calcareous soils or along surrounding walls in rural areas. There are countless varieties, therefore the color of the flowers can vary from orange to deep purple, passing through pink, red, yellow and some shades of purple. The habit is shrubby or bushy and the leaves, long and tapered, are covered by a sparse down.

Seed collection

To get snapdragonsthe simplest way is represented by sowing. This plant, in fact, produces countless seeds that germinate very easily, and it is now possible to find them everywhere, from nurseries to supermarkets. If you want to collect the seeds, however, you can go to a rural area in early autumn where you are sure that this plant grows. Once the flowerless stems have been identified, it will be necessary to delicately collect the ripe fruits, recognizable by their rounded shape and three singular holes on the apex that allow the seeds to escape. It is not always easy to find full fruit, but inspecting various plants will yield satisfactory results. Once the seeds have been obtained, it will be necessary to wait for the end of winter to plant them; in fact, to have a rich flowering, we recommend sowing at the end of February, in a calcareous and well-draining soil to be kept constantly humid (but never soggy). For the first time the seeds must be kept in a small greenhouse, but already with the arrival of the first warmth it will be removed, letting the sun irradiate the pots.

Once the seeds have produced shoots about ten centimeters long, they can be transferred to a larger pot or directly into the garden, taking care to space them apart to prevent them from overlapping too much during growth. Snapdragons need direct sunlight and moderate watering in summer; in fact they resist very well to periods of drought, as long as they are not too prolonged. They fear stagnation of water that would quickly lead to the death of the specimens, therefore we always recommend a draining and above all humus-rich soil. The abundant blooms occur between June and August, and the dried flowers and leaves must be eliminated to avoid bacterial attacks and further stimulate the plant to bloom. Pruning is not necessary,

Snapdragons Flowers: Curiosities

The similarity of these flowers with the snout of animals was already known to the ancient Greeks and Romans: the epithet Antirrhinum in fact is composed of the Greek terms «anti», which means «similar», and «rhin», which means muzzle or nose . Thanks to the presence of various iridoids and glycosides, snapdragon has been used since ancient times for therapeutic purposes. Infusions of dried leaves and flowers are in fact effective against allergies (often the main component in the preparation of natural antihistamines), some disorders of the liver, kidneys and bladder and various diseases related to the stomach and intestines, as well as soothing for inflammation of the oral mucosa and esophagus. Applied on wounds it helps tissue healing, even in case of insect bites,

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