by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Misopates orontium   (Lesser Snapdragon)

Misopates orontium  (PLANTAGINACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date May-2004 (taxon update: May-2004)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Misopates orontium - datasheet created on May-2004. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Misopates orontium(L.) Raf.
Published in Autikon Bot. 158 (1840)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Antirrhinum orontium (L.) Fourr.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Plantaginaceae Juss. (The Plantain Family)
32 species from the Plantaginaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Lesser Snapdragon, Linear-leaved Snapdragon, Weasel's Snout

Maltese name(s) :

Papoċċi rqiq, Papoċċi tar-Raba

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – July

Colour of Flowers:

Violet or Pink


Not particularly toxic

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 origin )
orontium: From the Greek word orontion, which is an old Greek name used for these plants already by the Italian physicist, Claudius Galenos, 129-210 AD. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated ground; occasionally in other open habitats; somewhat calcifuge.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Steppe, abandoned agricultural areas, low garigue, sometimes escaping into agricultural areas.
Botanical Description: Stem (5-)20-50 cm, erect, sparingly branched, glabrous to sparsely hirsute below, glandular-pubescent above. Leaves 20-50 x 2-7 mm, linear to oblong-elliptical, subacute, shortly petiolate, opposite below, often alternate above. Flowers in a lax, terminal raceme; bracts similar to leaves but decreasing in size upwards; pedicels very short in flower, up to 4 mm in fruit. Calyx 10-17 mm; lobes linear, the longest about 1½ times as long as the shortest. Corolla 10-15 mm, equalling or shorter than the calyx, pink (rarely white). Capsule 8-10 mm, ovoid, gibbous, glandular-hairy.
Chromosome number: 2n=16
Distributional range: S., W. & C. Europe, but doubtfully native in much of the centre and north- west locally naturalized as a weed further north and east.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, Austria and Liechtenstein, the Azores, Belgium, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia and former USSR, Sweden
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Ag Al dAu Au(A) Az dBe Bl dBr Bu dCa(C F G H L P T) Co Cr Cs Ct Cy Eg Ga(F) Gr dHb(E) He Ho Hs(S) Ir It Jo Le Li Lu Ma Md(D M P) Rm Sa Sg Si(M S) Sk Sl Sn Sr Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Az(C F G J L M P S T) Da Ge Lt Po Rf(C) Uk]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (27 images)
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-0.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-1.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-2.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-3.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-4.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-5.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-6.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-7.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-8.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-9.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-10.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-11.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-12.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-13.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-14.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-15.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-16.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-17.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-18.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-19.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-20.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-21.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-22.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-23.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-24.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-25.
   Misopates orontium   -   Image Code: MISOR-26.

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