WEASEL'S SNOUT

LESSER SNAPDRAGON

Misopates orontium

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZarchaeophyte
 
flower
flower8pink
 
inner
inner8white
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
(2)
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

14th Aug 2013, Chichester. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A short downy annual growing up to 50cm high. Likes arable fields. The corolla is between 10-17mm and normally bright pink, but can occasionally be white.


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
A round stem with short sticky glandular hairs nearer the top, shorter sticky glandular hairs on the leaves. Leaves without teeth (i.e. entire), those near the top are linear, but there are a few longer leaves which are lanceolate. Flowers pink with red and white stripes.


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Flowers few in a spike. They are shaped like Snapdragons (Antirrhinum species) and lack any spurs (although a very short stubby thing does seem to be present just beneath the lowest flower near the stem). The stems can be branched; these two or three stems are probably a part of the same plant.


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Two main petals are split horizontally and need gently prising apart to reveal the sexual parts, just like Snapdragons. This is an obstacle for most weaker species of potential pollinators and is designed to only allow access to the pollen by selected stronger and larger pollinating insects. For Snapdraggons it is Bumblebees; but your Author cannot find out if they also pollinate weasel's Snout.


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone


18th Sept 2007, field margin, Branstone Cross, Newchurch, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Although there are two main petals, an upper and a lower one, the upper is slightly cut at the top making two petals, and the lower one has 3 lower lobes, making 5 petals all told.


Easily mis-identified as : Pale Weasel's-snout (Misopates calycinum) but that is hairless and with a slightly larger but pale-pink to white corolla which is 18 to 22mm.

Many similarities to : Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) the popular garden plant which also grows on walls, railway cuttings and other waste places. Snapdragons have a broad cylindrical pouch at the bottom rather than a spur at the back.

Despite your Author having never seen one, they are apparently not rare. They grow as a weed in arable fields but are very scattered and decreasing in North Britain and Ireland, which might explain why your Author has never seen one.


  Misopates orontium  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Misopates
Misopates
(Weasel's-Snouts)

WEASEL'S SNOUT

LESSER SNAPDRAGON

Misopates orontium

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]