While snapdragons were common in the earliest gardens, their actual origin is not known. Some botanists believe they originally grew wild in Spain and Italy. The snapdragon's botanical name, antirrhinum, is derived from the Greek anti (like) and rhin (nose), in reference to the flower's snout-like shape.
In the British countryside, children too young or timid to capture frogs or other small creatures once made "pets" out of the snapdragon flower. A child would gently squeeze the sides of the flower to open and close the "dragon's" mouth, complete with a lashing tongue.
Concealing a snapdragon made a person appear gracious and fascinating. Snapdragons were also said to protect their beholders from deceit and curses.