This is a curious, as well as an ornamental, genus of plants, mostly perennials or biennials. The word Antirrhinum is derived from words in Greek which express "similar to a nose." The flower bears a perfect resemblance to the snout or nose of some animal; by applying the thumb and finger to the side of the corolla, it opens and shuts, as with a spring. It is described by Gerarde in his Herbal, thus : " This purple Snap-Dragon hath great and brittle stalks, which divideth itself into many fragile branches, whereupon do grow long leaves, sharp-pointed, very greene, like unto those of wild flax, but much greater, set by couples and set one opposite against another. The flowers grow at the top of the stalkes, of a purple color, fashioned like a frog's mouth, or rather a dragon's mouth, from whence the women have taken the name Snap-Dragon. The seed.is black, contained in round husks, fashioned like a calf's snout. - whereupon some have called it Calf's snout, - or in mine opinion it is more like unto the bones of a sheep's head that hath been long in the water, or the flesh consumed clean away."
Since Gerarde's day, the Snap-Dragon has sported into many varieties, not only purple but rosy, crimson, yellow, red and yellow, red and white, white striped, mottled, tipped, etc. It is not a perfect perennial, as it is apt to die out every few years. The varieties may be propagated from cuttings or divisions of the root. It is raised abundantly from seed, flowering the first year in autumn : but not so strong as the second year. Many beautiful varieties are in cultivation. It flourishes best in a dry, loamy soil, and is in flower in June or July. There is a beautiful Antirrhinum which grows profusely by the road-side; the flowers yellow and orange : A. li-naria\ or Yellow Toad Flax. This would be desirable for the garden, were it not for its weedy propensity of running about the ground where it is not wanted.