dwarf snapdragon

(Chaenorhinum minus ssp. minus)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed


No image available


NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable


not listed


Native to western Asia and Europe. Naturalized across the Unites States and southern Canada.




Dry. Disturbed areas: railroad ballast, roadsides. Full sun. Sandy or gravelly soil.


June to September

Flower Color

White and lavender or purple


3 to 11



This is an erect, annual forb that rises from a taproot. On railroad ballast and in waste places it is commonly 3 to 11 tall. In moister, more favorable conditions it can reach 16 in height.

The stems are erect or ascending, usually branched near the base, and often zigzag. They are usually moderately to densely covered with white, glandular hairs. Sometimes they are nearly hairless.

The lowermost leaves are opposite, middle and upper stem leaves are alternate. Lower leaves have leaf stalks (petioles), middle and upper leaves are stalkless or have very short petioles. The leaf blades are linear to narrowly lance-shaped or inversely lance-shaped, 3 16 to 13 16 long, and 1 32 to wide. They are tapered at the base and rounded or bluntly pointed at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are moderately covered with glandular hairs. They are not leathery, and are somewhat clammy to the touch due to the glandular hairs. Only the midvein is apparent. The margins are untoothed and moderately covered with glandular hairs.

The inflorescence is single flowers rising from the upper and middle leaf axils. The flowers are on ascending, hairy, to ½ long stalks (pedicels). Each pedicel is subtended by a short, leaf-like, linear appendage (bract).

Each flower is 5 16to 7 16 long including the spur. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 4 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are purplish-green to green. They are united at the base into a short calyx tube then separated nearly to the base into 5 lobes. The lobes are linear to narrowly lance-shaped and 1 16 to long, the upper ones longer than the lower. They are covered with glandular hairs. The petals are united at the base into a narrow, 1 16 to long corolla tube (spur) then separated into 2 lips. The outer surface of the corolla is covered with glandular hairs, especially on the tube. The upper lip (palate) is white, lavender, or light purple. It projects more or less straight out and is divided into 2 lobes. The lower lip is spreading and is divided into 3 lobes. It is usually white, often with pale yellow markings. Sometimes it is tinged with pale purple or pink. The base of the lower lip is strongly arched downward forming a narrow opening (throat) below the upper lip. There are 4 fertile stamens and no infertile ones (staminodes). The style has a compact, head-like stigma. The stamens and style do not extend beyond the throat.

As the fruit develops the pedicel elongates to 3 16 to , and the calyx elongates to to 3 16. The fruit is a broadly egg-shaped to almost globe-shaped, to ¼ long, 1 16 to in diameter capsule containing 40 to 60 seeds.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 22, 28, 29, 30.


There are three subspecies of Chaenorhinum minus. C. m. minus is the only one that occurs in North America.



Plantaginaceae (plantain)





Chaenorrhinum minus


dwarf snapdragon














The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.



The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.



The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.



On flowers: a hollow tubular appendage, often containing nectar, formed from a sepal or petal. On branches: a short shoot bearing leaves or flowers and fruit.



A modified stamen that produces no pollen. It often has no anther. Plural: staminodia.


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