When they’re alive, snapdragons make beautiful flowers. But when the seed pods die, something peculiar happens, the dead flower heads resemble miniature human skulls.
Snapdragons are familiar, old-fashioned flowers named for the blooms that resemble little dragon jaws that open and close when you gently squeeze the sides of the flowers. The segmented blooms must be pollinated by big, strong bumblebees because honeybees aren’t sturdy enough to open the jaws. Once the pollinated blooms die back, another unique feature of the plant is revealed the snapdragon seed heads.
When the snapdragon flowers die, the dried seed pods, which look like tiny, brown, shrunken skulls, prove just how beautiful and strange nature can be. Watch for the seed pods in late summer.
The odd-looking seed heads have been the source of legends for hundreds of years. One story says that women who eat the skull-like seed heads will regain their lost youth and beauty, while some people believed a few of the mystical little pods scattered around the house would protect the residents from curses, sorcery and other forms of evil. Harvest a few of those spooky seedpods and you can save snapdragon seeds for planting next spring.