Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Sairocarpus nuttallianus, Violet Snapdragon

Violet Snapdragon is an annual, rarely a biennial, forb/herb with erect stems and beautiful flowers. Plants often cling to adjacent plants or structure but do not twin like a vine. Sairocarpus nuttallianusViolet Snapdragon has violet, lavender or blue-purple flowers with small flower stalks originating from leaf axils. Sairocarpus nuttallianus

Scientific Name: Sairocarpus nuttallianus
Common Name: Violet Snapdragon
Also Called: Nuttall Snapdragon, Violet Toad's-mouth
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort or Snapdragon Family - Moving to Plantaginaceae
Synonyms: (Antirrhinum nuttallianum, Antirrhinum nuttallianum subsp. nuttallianum)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, rarely biennial; plants glandular hairy.
Size: Up to 12 inches or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems erect, often clinging to adjacent structure.
Leaves: Green; upper leaves alternate;
Flower Color: Violet, lavender, blue-purple; flowers axillary on pedicels as long or longer than the calyx; corolla with white blotches on lower lip, California species with gold hairs in throat, corolla strongly bilabiate; flowers small but showy, variable in size; flowers solitary; lower flowers subtended by twining branchlets;
Flowering Season: March to May.
Elevation: Up to 4,000 feet in Arizona and California.

Habitat Preferences: Canyons, rocky areas, disturbed areas, dunes in California.

Recorded Range: Baja California

North America & US County Distribution Map for Sairocarpus nuttallianus.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 12 species and 12 accepted taxa overall for Sairocarpus. World wide, The Plant List includes 12 accepted species names and includes a further 2 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona there are 3 species of Sairocarpus, in California there are 10 species, Nevada and Utah have 1 species, New Mexico and Texas have 0 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Sairocarpus nuttallianus previously included in the genus Antirrhinum, which also includes the popular garden Common Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus, a native of southern Europe.

Date Profile Completed: 08/24/2016, updated format 10/04/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 08/24/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California as Antirrhinum nuttallianum.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 08/24/2016).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation:; as Antirrhinum nuttallianum. (accessed 08/24/2016),7178,7188
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 08/24/2016).