They’re beautiful when alive but once they shrivel up and die, things get a bit creepy. [Editor note: Reeko said under no circumstances were we to put any politically-incorrect dead people jokes here.] Meet the Snapdragon flower seed pod which bears the stark appearance of a human skull (or a human face screaming in agony).
The Snapdragon flower (aka Antirrhinum or dragon flower) can be found in many household gardens and gets its name from its flower which resembles a dragon’s head (squeeze the snapdragon flower and the “dragon” mouth will open and close making it “talk”). Yet once the flower has died it leaves behind a seed pod with the macabre appearance of a human head.
The Snapdragons name (Antirrhinum) comes from the Greek words “anti,” meaning like, and “rhin,” meaning nose. Many years ago, people thought the plant possessed mystical powers and would place them around their homes to shield the house from curses and witches. In Victorian days, the flower was a symbol of deception, suspicion, and mystery. Legend has it that concealing a snapdragon in your clothes makes a person appear fascinating, gracious, and cordial. Today they are a favorite in gardens around Europe, United States, and North Africa because, well, they look like dragon heads!
If you are itching to grow one, know that they are cold-season plants that do best in the sunlight. You can plant them right before the spring season starts. Keep them well watered for the first few weeks and after that, give them about 1 inch of water every week. When grown, they stand from 6 inches up to 3 feet tall. When dead they’ll leave behind the creepy tokens you can collect for display.
Check out the cool pictures of Snapdragon Flower skulls in the pictorial below (click picture for full-size view and slideshow).