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Lesser Snapdragon

Misopates orontium  (L.) Dumortier  (Fam: PLANTAGINACEAE.)

Published date of profile: May-2004.
Citation: Mifsud S., (May-2004) Misopates orontium on MaltaWildPlants.com

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Nomenclature Morphology
Plant Description and Characters Plant Information and Uses
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Nomenclature

Species name:

Misopates orontium   (L.) Dumortier

Author(s):

Carl von Linné, Sweden, 1707-1778 ;
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz, Turkey/ France/ USA, 1783-1840

Common names:

Lesser Snapdragon, Weasel's Snout, Linear Leaf Snapdragon

Maltese name:

Papoċċi tar-Raba', Papoċċi Rqiq

Plant Family:

Plantaginaceae   (Plantain Family)

Name Derivation:

Misopates = from the Greek words "misos" (hate) and "patein" (step on), with which its author meant that it would be a pity to step on this beautiful herb (Greek);
orontium = derived from the Greek word "orontion", which is an old Greek plant name used already by Galenos in the 2nd century (Greek).

Synonyms:

Antirrhinum orontium, Antirrhinum orontium var. grandiflorum

Remarks:

-


Morphology and structure

PLANT STRUCTURE:

Character

Growth Form

Branching

Surface

Description

Erect :

Upright, vertically straight up well clear off the ground.

Basal Branching :

Branches are mostly present at the basal part of the stem.

Glandular Hairs (Uppert part only):

Possess hair that bear glands or swellings at their tip. Lower part hairless (glabrous).

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)

LEAVES:

Character

Arrangement

Attachment

Venation

Description

Whorled (x3):

Three or more similar leaves growing at the same level about an axis (stem).

Sessile :

Growing directly from the stem; without a stalk.

Single :

One central main vein (midrib) along leaf axis.

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)
 

Character

Leaf Shape

Leaf Margin

Remarks

Description

Fusiform :

Spindle shape, widest in the middle and tapering towards both ends.

Entire :

Smooth margin without indentations, lobes or any projections.

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)

FLOWERS:

Character

Colour

Basic Flower Type

No. of Petals

No. of Sepals

Description

Pink & Red

Pink petals with deep red veins.

Personate :

Flowers composed of 2 lips with the lower one having a rounded projection known as a palate.

2

Upper and lower lip-like petals resting on each other.

5

General
Picture

  Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)
 

Character

Inflorescence

Description

Ovary

Stamens

Description

Raceme :

Simple, elongated, indeterminate cluster with stalked flowers.

The flower consists of 5 finger-like sepals and a corolla of 2 large and complex, pink petals (lips), resting on each other forming a closed tubular structure. The 2 lips, but especially the palate of the lower one are further decorated by deep red veins. Inside the flower, there are 4 stamens and a pistil, all close together and located at the roof of the upper lip. The spur is absent.

Superior :

Ovary situated above the flower parts (the calyx, corolla, and androecium). In other words, these are attached below the ovary.

4, Didynamous :

Having one pair of stamen longer than the other pair. Often the stamens of the pair are very close to each other and seems to be fused as a single unit (connate).

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)
 

Character

Scent

Average Flower Size

Pollen Colour

Other Notes

Description

YES

Mild sweet scent.

8 x 8 x 15 mm

(Length x Breadth x Depth).

Yellow

-


SEEDS:

Character

No. Per Fruit

Shape

Size

Colour

Description

>200

Irregular cylindrical to oval shape

(Seed coat possess several ridges).

1mm

Dark brown / Black

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)

FRUIT AND OTHER BOTANICAL DATA:

Character

Fruit Type

Colour of Fruit

Subterranean Parts

Other Notes

Description

Indehiscent Poricidal Capsule :

A non-splitting fruit capsule which usually stores a large number of tiny seeds which escape through small pores or slits in the walls of the fruit.

Beige-Brown

Taproot :

A rooting system where there is the main descending root of a plant having a single dominant large structure from which a network of smaller and long roots emerge.

-

General
Picture

Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010) Wild Plants of the Mediterranean Islands of Malta  - Copyright Stephen Mifsud / Maltawildplants.com / Malta (2002-2010)

Plant description and characters

Life Cycle:

Annual.

Growth Form:

THEROPHYTE (Annuals)

Habitat:

Cultivated fields (esp. cereal), field margins, soily waysides.

Frequency:

Frequent

Localities in Malta:

Frequent besides wheatfields such as in Qormi, Siggiewi and Rabat. Also located in Wied Anglu, Mizieb and Bahrija.

Plant Height:

20-50cm.

Flowering Period:

Apr - Jul

Protection in Malta:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List 1989:

Not listed in the Flora section of the National Red Data Book (Lanfranco, 1989)

Poison:

Not Poisonous.

This annual plant produces several erect, stems which branch only at the lower part; sometimes just above ground level. The stem is glabrous but becomes hairy (with glandular hairs) at the upper part,approximately at the region of the flowers and fruit.

The short stalked leaves are linear to fusiform, glabrous, have an entire outline and a distinct depressed midrib. The leaf length varies according to the position on the plant. Leaves at the main stem are larger, about 50mm long by 4mm wide, whereas branched leaves are much smaller (20mm x 2mm) and more linear in shape. The plant forms a large stipule-like leaves arranged in 3 x whorls or opposite pairs which becomes irregularly leveled and then alternating towards up the stem. From the axils of these leaves grows out a small slender branch of about 4 - 10 linear leaflets. These leaflets are usually arranged in decussate opposite pairs.

The small, solitary flowers measure about 6mm diameter and 15mm deep. They are nearly sessile to the stem (just a 1mm pedicel) and arranged in an alternate fashion forming loose racemes. Like the leaflet stems, there is a large sessile leaf-like bract from which the flower grows. The flower have 5 long linear sepals of slightly unequal length. In the flower form the the bract and the 5 sepals seems to form a singular 6-unit symmetrically arranged structure - as if the flower have a 6-sepal calyx.

The corolla is bi-laterally symmetrical and composed of an upper and lower pink-lilac lips which forms a closed tube-like structure. The upper lip has 2 lobes and the lower has 3 and both, especially at the palate of the lower one, have deep red veins. There is no spur and the flower are slightly scented. Inside the flower there are the reproductive organs, composed of one central pistil and 2 pairs of stamen with swollen yellow anthers. Sometimes the anthers of each pair are so close together that they fuse together.

The fruit of the plant are oval, green, dehiscent poricidal capsules which when they ripen they turn beige-brown, becomes dry and hard and develops 3 openings from which the tiny (1mm), brown seeds escapes the fruit, mainly by swaying of the stems with wind or animals passing by.


Information, uses and other details


Nativity and Distribution

This plant is widespread in many areas around the world mainly in the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia. It is native to:
AFRICA : ( Eg: Cape Verde, Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia Eritrea; Ethiopia; Sudan; Kenya)

ASIA: (eg: Iran; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey; India; Nepal; Pakistan )

EUROPE: (eg: Austria; Belgium; Netherlands; Switzerland; Ukraine; Albania; Bulgaria; Greece; Italy; Romania; Yugoslavia; Portugal; Spain; Canary Islands)    [WWW-26]

Synonyms

The plant is also referred to as Antirrhinum orontium and Antirrhinum orontium var. grandiflorum [WWW-26]

Food for Larvae

This plant can be used as food for the following larvae: Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla and Stenoptilia aridus [WWW-62]
Not much information has been found about this particular plant species. If you can supply further info to be included in this profile, please do not hesitate to email us. Alternatively, input the new info you can supply at the form found at the botom of this page. Full reference credits will be given accordingly. Thank you for your support!

Photo Gallery   (25 Images)

IMAGE: MISOR-01
Photo of flower in situ (lateral view).
IMAGE: MISOR-02
Photo (front view) of flower which is actinomorphic (bi-laterally symmetrical).
IMAGE: MISOR-03
Photo of flower, consisting of an upper and lower lip restiing upon each other forming a tubular-shaped corolla.
IMAGE: MISOR-04
Photo of 2 flowers in situ.
IMAGE: MISOR-05
Photo of 2 flowers. Note the unequal finger-like sepals and the leaf-like bract.
IMAGE: MISOR-06
Annotated photo of flower.
IMAGE: MISOR-07
Scanned image of flower against a dark background. Bottom/front view.
IMAGE: MISOR-08
Scanned image of flower against a dark background. Lateral view.
IMAGE: MISOR-09
Scanned image of the interior part of the two flower lips.
IMAGE: MISOR-10
Scanned image of the red-veined upper lip and the 2 pairs of stamens consisting of lilac/pink filaments and yellow anthers. The anthers of each stamen pair are so close together that they tend to fuse. The stigma is hidden between the anthers.
IMAGE: MISOR-11
Scanned and annotated image of plant.
IMAGE: MISOR-12
Photo of few plants in a wheat field.
IMAGE: MISOR-13
Photo of branched plant. Stem branches at its basal part.
IMAGE: MISOR-14
Photo of a young plant.
IMAGE: MISOR-15
Photo of the spindle shaped (fusiform) leaves. They are widest at the center and tapering gradually towards the ends.
IMAGE: MISOR-16
Scanned image of 3 main leaves sessile to the stem and about 4 - 6 cm long. On the right side of the image there is a leaf branch with smaller oppositely arranged leaves. The leaves are fusiform.
IMAGE: MISOR-17
Cross section through lower stem showing the arrangement of leaves, in this case 3 x whorled. Sometimes they are oppositely arranged, but they become alternately arranged up the stem.
IMAGE: MISOR-18
Photo of an unripe, oval shaped fruit covered with white hair and a central persistent style which dries of slowly.
IMAGE: MISOR-19
Photo of a ripe poricidal (containing pores) fruit capsules. The fruit wall become hard, and develops 3 openings from which the seeds are liberated.
IMAGE: MISOR-20
Photo of a ripe fruit showing the 3 openings. It may resemble an animal skull!
IMAGE: MISOR-21
Scanned image of unripe fruit capsules held by the persistent finger-like sepals.
IMAGE: MISOR-22
Magnified scanned image of the tiny (1mm c.) dark brown seeds.
IMAGE: MISOR-23
Black & white illustration of the plant taken from http://digi.azz.cz.
IMAGE: MISOR-24
Colour illustration taken from Flora Danica Online.
     
IMAGE: MISOR-25
Magnified image of seeds under light microscope.
IMAGE: MISOR-26
IMAGE: MISOR-27
IMAGE: MISOR-28

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