Snapdragon Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Snapdragons are grown all over the world for their beauty, and their novelty, which makes gardening a real pleasure. 

But did you know that these gorgeous flowers also have a lot of meaning attached to them? While they’re not often given as gifts, the symbolism behind these unique flowers makes them a worthy option for any occasion.

Read on to discover the meaning behind these beautiful blooms.

What does ‘Snapdragon’ Mean?

The common name of ‘Snapdragon’ for this flower comes from the shape of the flower, which looks a little like a dragon, and the curious way that the flower head ‘snaps’ shut when you squeeze the stem, like a dragon’s mouth snapping shut.

While it’s a characteristic that’s rarely mentioned these days, this small feature has inspired many people to get into gardening and flowers as it sparks their curiosity.

They are also referred to by their scientific name, Antirrhinum, which is Greek for “nose-like”. The Greeks also referred to these flowers as kynokephelon, which means “dog-headed”. 

There are more than 40 individual species of snapdragons, which serve as plenty of choice for planting schemes, as well as a wealth of symbolism. 

What do Snapdragon Flowers Signify?

There are different layers to the symbolism behind the snapdragon flower. 

One of the main meanings is resilience, as while these flowers have a delicate appearance, the plants themselves are able to withstand different conditions, and are quite hardy plants.

They also have the connotations of grace and strength of will, where you might be under pressure or stress, but you refuse to act below your morals or on impulse. 

Snapdragons are believed to ward off dishonesty and trickery. The meaning behind this unique flower also changes depending on the color itself. 

What does a Purple Snapdragon Signify?

Purple snapdragons refer to spirituality. This is interesting, as most purple flowers represent royalty or someone who is unique, and you may think with the dragon symbolism, it would only add to this. 

What does a Red Snapdragon Mean?

Red snapdragon flowers signify love, desire, and vitality when it comes to wanting the best things out of life. 

What do White Snapdragons Mean?

White snapdragon flowers have the universal meaning of other white flowers, where they signify grace, innocence, and sometimes remembrance.

What does a Yellow Snapdragon Represent?

Yellow snapdragon flowers hold the uplifting links to joy, positivity, prosperity, and good fortune, which is what a lot of yellow flowers symbolize.

What is the Cultural Significance Behind the Snapdragon Flower?

Over the years, the snapdragon has carried some weighty superstitions, for such a lovely petite flower. It was widely regarded as a flower that could ward off evil, and give the wearer protection. 

Both the ancient Romans and the Greeks believed that snapdragons had protective properties, which would help ward off ill intent or even witchcraft. 

A Greek physician, Descorides, wrote that if you wore snapdragons around your neck, you would be protected from harm.

In medieval Europe, snapdragons were often grown near the gates of castles, as it was thought that they were the guardians of the castle and would make sure no harm would come to those living there.

In Germany, people used to tie snapdragon flowers together and hang them over a baby’s cot to protect the baby from evil spirits. 

Snapdragons also have a lot of symbolism when it comes to love and its many complications. 

In the Victorian language of flowers, concealing snapdragons in your pocket was believed to make you a fascinating person with a lot of charisma, but you were also dangerous – which is where the meaning of deception or dishonesty comes from. 

In some places, snapdragons were gifts for mistresses and secret lovers, to portray that although their affair had to be kept secret, the flowers were a symbol of love and affection.

Interestingly, the snapdragon was also used to mean sincerity where an apology was needed.

Owning snapdragons meant that you were a powerful person who commanded a lot of respect.

Snapdragons were also a message of presumption and rejection, and in some ways, to protect them. Women would wear the snapdragon flowers in their hair to say that they weren’t interested in romantic advances! 

What does a Snapdragon Tattoo Mean?

Snapdragon tattoos can symbolize resilience and grace, which carries you through the best and worst times that life has to offer. 

As it’s been a powerful symbol of protection throughout the ages and to many cultures, a snapdragon flower tattoo is a safeguard, to ward off evil or witchcraft, as it has been believed to do over so many centuries. 

When Should You Give Someone Snapdragons?

Snapdragons are fantastic cut flowers, and they are great gifts when you want to tell someone that they are stronger than they know. 

If they are going through a tough time, or they’ve had a run of bad luck lately, a gift of snapdragons can show them how much you care for them. 

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