Violet Snapdragon
Nuttall's Snapdragon

Sairocarpus nuttallianus
(Antirrhinum nuttalliana)

Violet Snapdragon, Sairocarpus nuttallianus photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Rackensack Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 22 March 2015. When I was taking this photograph I did not notice the stilt bug. These bugs are adapted to walking on sticky plants and may even prey on other bugs that have become trapped by glue!

ANNUAL: Weak-stemmed, spring annual growing usually amongst other plants and rarely taller than 50 cm.

FLOWERS: Blooming April and May with small (<12 mm), violet, two-lipped flowers ranged in a short, erect spike. The calyx lobes are also densely sticky-haired. Four stamens.

LEAVES: Leaves are elliptic to linear and are covered with sticky, gland-tipped hairs. Leaves on lower portions of stem are opposite while some higher on stem are alternate.

RANGE: Mostly an obscure spring plant of riparian habitats in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Ranges also into southern California and Baja, Mexico.

FRUIT: Dry capsules splitting lengthwise releasing a dozen or more seeds.


Scrophulariaceae -- Figwort Family
recently place in family Plantaginaceae

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 7 July 2010,
updated 23 March 2015