Misopates orontium - Lesser Snapdragon

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Plantaginaceae

Lesser Snapdragon - Misopates orontium

This Mediterranean wildflower is a smaller and much daintier relative of Antirrhinum majus, the much-loved Snapdragon which grows in our gardens in the UK, but which also grows wild in the Mediterranean region.

A charming member of the Plantain family, Plantaginaceae, Lesser Snapdragon is common throughout the Iberian Peninsula and can pop up almost anywhere in arable land, on roadsides and even in rocky and sandy ground.

Lesser Snapdragon can easily be confused with Misopates calycinum but the flower markings are different and Misopates calycinum is a larger and more robust plant.

Lesser Snapdragon blooms from March right through until September. The flowers are normally pink, but occasionally white ones also appear.

This specimen was photographed in the Algarve, southern Portugal, in May.

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