Snapdragons in Manila! What a find! Until recently, I had never seen snapdragons for sale in the local markets or floral stores. A very common flower in the U.S. and other temperate locations, snapdragons do very well in home gardens or in commercial flower beds. With a huge range of colors and varieties from dwarf to those that reach almost four feet, snapdragons are showy, voluptuous and beautiful. Antirrhinum majus or Greek for â€œlike a rhinos snoutâ€, snapdragonâ€™s are also known as â€œrabbitâ€™s lipsâ€ in Asia and â€œlionâ€™s lipsâ€ in Holland. Apparently, if you pull down the lower petal of the flower it snaps back up, hence its common name. Native to the Mediterranean, the flowers need full sun but cool weather to thrive.
With temperatures soaring into the 90’s in Manila, where are these flowers from? It seems some growers are now raising them commercially in the Mountain Province. King Louis Plants is one of the growers and others up there are following suit. While some garden enthusiasts have been growing the plant in Baguio backyards for quite some time, they have never been commercially produced. At P75 for a small bunch in the market the other day, these were a pretty good buy. In colors ranging from deep maroon to white, yellow, pink, etc., they are great just stuck into a nice vase by themselves. Apparently snapdragons are â€œgeotropicâ€ or adjust or bend their stems skyward in relation to gravity (according to a description in growerdirect.com) so they need to be stored standing up or they get all curled up in a snit. Keep your eyes open for these great flowers the next time you are in the market or at a flower stall.