Snapdragon vs. Gladiolus — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on August 19, 2023
Snapdragon is a flowering plant with a jaw-like blossom, while gladiolus is a tall plant with sword-shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers.
Difference Between Snapdragon and Gladiolus
Table of Contents
Snapdragon, belonging to the genus Antirrhinum, is a unique plant best known for its jaw-like blossoms that open and close when squeezed. On the other hand, gladiolus belongs to the genus Gladiolus and is recognized for its tall spikes adorned with bright and beautiful flowers.
Snapdragon's name is derived from the resemblance of its flowers to a dragon's mouth which can "snap" open and shut. Gladiolus, meanwhile, is derived from the Latin word "gladius" meaning sword, referencing the sword-like shape of its leaves. So while snapdragon's name alludes to a mythical creature's jaw, gladiolus points towards ancient weaponry.
When it comes to cultural significance, snapdragons symbolize grace and strength due to their delicate yet resilient nature. Gladiolus, in many cultures, stands for strength of character, remembrance, and honor, and is often found in bouquets given to express support.
In their natural environments, snapdragons prefer cooler climates and can be found in rocky terrains in Europe, North America, and Northern Africa. Gladiolus, conversely, favors warmer regions and originates from South Africa but has since been cultivated worldwide.
Snapdragons are often grown as ornamentals for garden borders and pots. Gladiolus, with its imposing height and stunning blossoms, is frequently used in flower beds and for cut flowers, brightening up homes and events.
Resembles a dragon's mouth that can "snap" open
Derived from "gladius" indicating sword-like
Grace and strength
Strength of character, remembrance, and honor
Rocky terrains in cooler climates
Warmer regions, originally from South Africa
Garden borders, pots
Flower beds, cut flowers
Compare with Definitions
A flowering plant known for its jaw-like blossoms.
I watched in fascination as the child squeezed the snapdragon, making its petals open and close.
A plant with tall spikes of brightly colored flowers.
The bouquet was dominated by the vibrant gladiolus flowers.
A plant belonging to the genus Antirrhinum.
Snapdragons, being part of the Antirrhinum genus, have a rich history in folklore.
A popular choice for cut flower arrangements.
The florist recommended adding gladiolus to the arrangement for height and drama.
Any of several plants of the genus Antirrhinum of the figwort family, especially A. majus, widely cultivated for its showy racemes of two-lipped, variously colored flowers.
A genus of plants having bulbous roots and gladiate leaves, and including many species, some of which are cultivated and valued for the beauty of their flowers; the corn flag; the sword lily.
A perennial or annual plant often grown for decorative purposes.
Many homeowners add snapdragons to their garden borders for a splash of color.
A genus of flowering plants with sword-shaped leaves.
Gladiolus plants are a favorite among many gardeners due to their majestic appearance.
A plant whose flowers resemble a dragon's mouth.
The resemblance of snapdragon flowers to a dragon's mouth gives them their whimsical name.
A flower symbolizing strength of character and remembrance.
On Memorial Day, she placed gladiolus on her grandfather's grave to honor his memory.
A popular ornamental plant with various colors.
The garden was ablaze with the vibrant hues of snapdragon flowers.
A plant originally from South Africa but cultivated worldwide.
Though gladiolus is native to South Africa, you can now find them in gardens around the globe.
(countable) Any plant of the genus Antirrhinum, with showy yellow, white or red flowers.
Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial cormous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae).It is sometimes called the 'sword lily', but is usually called by its generic name (plural gladioli).The genus occurs in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, South Africa, and tropical Africa. The center of diversity is in the Cape Floristic Region.
A garden plant of the genus Antirrhinum having showy white or yellow or crimson flowers resembling the face of a dragon
An Old World plant of the iris family, with sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brightly coloured flowers, popular in gardens and as a cut flower.
(uncountable) A game in which raisins are snatched from a vessel containing burning brandy, and eaten; the substance snatched and eaten during the playing of the game; the vessel used for the game.
Also glad·i·o·la (-lə) Botany Any of numerous plants of the genus Gladiolus, native chiefly to tropical and southern Africa and having sword-shaped leaves and showy, variously colored, irregular flowers arranged in one-sided spikes. Also called sword lily.
Any plant of the scrrophulariaceous genus Antirrhinum, especially the cultivated A. majus, whose showy flowers are fancifully likened to the face of a dragon.
(Anatomy) The large middle section of the sternum.
A play in which raisins are snatched from a vessel containing burning brandy, and eaten; also, that which is so eaten. See Flapdragon.
(anatomy) The center part of the sternum.
Any of several flowering plants, of the genus Gladiolus, having sword-shaped leaves and showy flowers on spikes; gladiola.
The middle portion of the sternum in some animals; the mesosternum.
Any of numerous plants of the genus Gladiolus native chiefly to tropical and South Africa having sword-shaped leaves and one-sided spikes of brightly colored funnel-shaped flowers; widely cultivated
The large central part of the breastbone
What is a snapdragon?
A snapdragon is a flowering plant known for its unique jaw-like blossoms, belonging to the genus Antirrhinum.
Where are snapdragons commonly found?
Snapdragons are commonly found in rocky terrains in cooler climates like Europe, North America, and Northern Africa.
What is a gladiolus?
Gladiolus is a tall flowering plant known for its sword-shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers, and it belongs to the genus Gladiolus.
Why is it called a snapdragon?
Snapdragons are named for their flowers' resemblance to a dragon's mouth that can "snap" open and shut.
Why is it called gladiolus?
The name gladiolus comes from the Latin word "gladius" meaning sword, referring to its sword-shaped leaves.
Where did gladiolus originate?
Gladiolus plants originally come from South Africa but have been cultivated in various parts of the world.
What do snapdragons symbolize?
Snapdragons symbolize grace and strength due to their delicate yet resilient nature.
How do snapdragons reproduce?
Snapdragons reproduce through seeds, often facilitated by bumblebees that pollinate the flowers when they visit.
Can gladiolus bulbs be replanted?
Yes, gladiolus bulbs, often referred to as corms, can be dug up, stored, and replanted the next growing season.
What do gladiolus flowers represent?
Gladiolus flowers represent strength of character, remembrance, and honor in many cultures.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.