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Plantidote of the Day 2012-08-28

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snapdragon

Antirrhinum majus

Snapdragon

These flower garden staples are spring and winter bloomers here in Zone 10, but in colder climates, they're more of a springtime flower. They're available in quite a few different varieties, including double flowers, an azalea-shaped bloom, and a bell-shaped flower. The name comes from the flowers' resemblance to a mouth; gently pinching the sides of the flower makes the "dragon" open its mouth. Okay, maybe you have to be there to see this in action, but that's the story on the name.

Snapdragons like a sunny spot in the garden, and need water and fertilizer to grow properly. They are vulnerable to rust. Skip the overhead watering to cut down on the spread of rust spores. Or move the snapdragons from each year to minimize rust. As far I can tell, snapdragons are not poisonous, invasive, or otherwise problem plants. But if that's not correct, please tell us about it in a comment.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the csomments.

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