Scrophulariaceae (although recent DNA studies suggest it actually belongs to the family Plantaginaceae)

Common name/s ?


Skill rating



Mainly western Mediterranean regions.

Type of plant ?

Perennial usually grown as an annual.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone

Half hardy

EGF zone


USDA zone

8-10 (5-7 in summer)

Eventual size

60 to 90cm height, 45cm spread.

Growth rate ?

Fast, will grow from seed to flower in one season.

Shape it grows into

Upright plant with tall flower spikes.

Season/s of interest

Flowers from summer through to autumn.

Where to grow it

Happiest in full sun.
Prefers well drained soil.

Antirrhinum majus 'Scarlet Giant'


A very tall variety of snapdragon with striking deep scarlet flowers above stems carrying lance shaped leaves. The flowers are typical snapdragon shape; in two parts with an upper and lower row of petals, the lower petals including an extra ‘lip’ at the centre of the flower.

What to use it for

Can be used in taller bedding displays or to bring colour to the middle/back of a border. Its height makes it an ideal cut flower.

Alternatively it can be grown in containers.

How to look after it

Water it from below (so the petals and leaves don’t get wet) to reduce the risk of a rust infection.

As the plant grows in height it may need supporting (eg with pea sticks) particularly if it is exposed to the elements, rather than tucked in amongst other plants in the border.

How to prune it

Deadhead it regularly to get a longer flowering season.

How to propagate it

Sow from seed in autumn or spring keeping them at around 15˚C. Alternatively, propagate from softwood cuttings in late spring or semi-ripe cuttings in early autumn.

Common problems

Prone to rust infections.

Other useful information

The common name ’snapdragon’ refers to the flower resembling the face of a dragon. This analogy is further enhanced by the fact that if you squeeze the sides of an individual flower together where they meet the pedicel, the dragon ‘opens his mouth’. When released it then snaps back shut.