The snapdragon was a well-known flower in the ancient world and can still be found scattered amongst Roman ruins. The Greeks knew it by the common name kynokephelon, meaning dog-headed. The Romans called it leonis ora, or lion’s mouth. The Old French word for Snapdragon was muflier, or snout, the Italians called it bocca de leone, and the Germans Lowenmaul, meaning mouth of lions.
The common English names were dragon’s snout, dog’s mouth, calf’s snout, and toad’s mouth. All of these names reflect the interesting muzzle shape of the bloom. If you gently squeeze the sides of the flower together, it will pop open and closed, like a snapping jaw.
And did you know that this was a favorite flower grown in Thomas Jeffersons Garden?
In the language of flowers, they represent innocence and purity.