These Beautiful Snapdragon Flowers Turn to Skulls When They Die

Snapdragon flowers, also known as Antirrhinum are a beautiful group of flowering plants that usually come in pink and purple colors. [1] They have soft petals with colors so easy on the eyes you’d want to stare at them forever.

Well, wait until they are dead or withered. Their “true colors” would begin to show.

The flower gets its name from the peculiar transformation that happens when it dies. The seed pod will gradually take on an eerily macabre appearance, resembling a dried up human skull. [2] This is not something you want to keep around if you have little kids, but despite the weird appearance, they can be pretty cool sometimes.

Even weirder, when laterally squeezed between the fingertips, the skull will open its mouth and upon release, the mouth closes back.

An ironic history

Snapdragons have been existing for thousands of years. The name Antirrhinum is derived from two Greek words ‘anti’ meaning ‘like’, and ‘rhin’, which means ‘nose’. They are native to rocky terrains in the United States, Europe, and North Africa. Snapdragons are diverse plants that come in variations of purple, lavender, pink, white, yellow, orange, or burgundy.

Hundreds of years ago, many ancient cultures held the Snapdragon flowers and their scary seed pods as sacred entities. Many believed they brought good luck to people and would often plant the flowers around their homes and taverns for wellness, while others would carry them around on their persons. [3]

Some cultures believed they contributed to timeless beauty and agelessness in women. We are not exactly sure how this works, but let’s stick to gentle skincare, exercise, and eating healthy for now.

In the Victorian era, Snapdragons symbolized deception and suspicion, and people believed that concealing them beneath your clothes would give the wearer an attractive and alluring demeanor.

Well, the Snapdragon was certainly the subject of numerous superstitions back in the day, but in modern times, they are simply an interesting favorite for many horticulturists and flower lovers. Most people just plant them and eagerly wait for when they’ll die and turn into cool human-like skulls. I’m not sure if ‘cool’ and ‘skull’ should be used in the same sentence, but you get the idea.

Caring for Snapdragon flowers

Once you have the right environmental conditions, caring for Snapdragons is quite simple since they don’t require so much attention. They are usually available during spring and summer so the best time to plant is towards the end of winter, just before the start of spring. They are cold-season plants but would often require a considerable supply of sunlight in damp soil to thrive fully.

Snapdragon sprouts are prone to rot in extremely hot weather, so they may not be suitable for growing in hotter climates. When the seeds are initially planted, you’d have to adequately water them for the first few weeks, and then reduce the water supply to at least one inch when the sprouts begin to mature.

Also, the care practices required may differ according to the variety, so make sure you know which ones you are buying. The smallest varieties may grow as tall as 6 to 15 inches, where the tallest varieties can stretch up to 48 inches.

The best part (or the creepiest): Unlike other flowers that are turned into compost when they die, your Snapdragons can still be used for decoration upon withering. You just have to get used to skulls hanging around your walls and from the ceilings.

Via family life goals

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