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Snapdragon history

Snapdragons are an old decorative flower, which was already known to the Romans. From genetic center around southern Spain the cultivated form was spread throughout the whole Roman empire. Nowadays remnants of these original population which all belong to the species Antirrhinum majus are found among Roman remains like temples, stadia etc in southern France, Malta, Israel and so on. The scientific name of the genus Antirrhinum was first defined by Carl von Linné (also Carl Linnaeus) in the year 1753. Here we present copies of the descriptions of the Antirrhinum species taken from the original first edition of "Species Plantarum", 1753, pages 612 to 619. The text is in Latin of course. In the year 1914 Prof. Erwin Baur the founder of the Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung in Cologne published a volume called "Einführung in die experimentelle Vererbungslehre" (Introduction to experimental genetics) 2. Edition. This book contained several plates with reproductions of water color paintings of snapdragons as examples. For instance he crossed a white line with a red line resulting in a pink flower. This pink flower then was selfed and the offspring showed the typical distribution of 1 white, 2 pink and 1 red as a demonstration of Mendelian inheritance.
Here are reproductions taken from color plate II (Tafel II). They are reproduced with kind permission of the Gebr. Borntraeger Verlag, the holder of the copyright for this book:
This page is part of the Snapdragon Home Page.
The URL of this page is http://www.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/~stueber/snapdragon/snapdragon_history.html
If you have any comments, additions or corrections to this page of general interest you are invited to use the Snapdragon Guest Book. For personal comments please write to the author(s) of this page or to Kurt Stueber.
This page has last been modified on August 27, 1997.