The Snapdragon or dragon flower is a unique and beautiful flower with a freakishly dark side. The snapdragon blossoms in many beautiful colors and easy on the eyes shape that resembles the mouth of a dragon, hence the name. The flower is one of the most popular plants around Europe, United States, and North Africa and has a unique attribute of closing its mouth when lightly squeezed.
But behind this bewitching and affable demeanor lies a quite literally monstrous attribute. When the Snapdragon dies off, its dried seedpods take the strikingly similar shape of creepy tiny human skulls! This bizarre characteristic has earned the flower various legends over time, with some saying that anyone who eats the organic skulls will regain their youth and beauty while others thinking that scattering them throughout the house helps in protecting the residents from curses, sorcery and other evil things.
The flower’s duplicitous and eerie appearance made it being frequently attributed as a symbol of deception, suspicion, and mystery in the Victorian Age and many people thought that wearing it made them appear fascinating and gracious.
All the ignominious and abject folklores aside, how does the beautiful snapdragon flower take a harrowing human skull shape? Biochemist and blogger Johanna L. Roose thinks that everything is related to the snapdragon’s flower structure and its bilateral symmetry.
“The skulls are really the seed pods of the plant after the flowers have been pollinated and the petals have withered away. Dissecting the flowers in their prime shows the ovary at the base of the bloom.
The pollen-containing stamens and the style emerge from the orifices in the ovary. These structures leave behind gaping holes that look like a mouth and eye sockets,” Roose explains
The macabre pictures of seed pods make one forget how beautiful and elegant the actual snapdragon flower is!
You can view more amazing flowers at the Flying Duck Orchid and the Monkey Orchid.