Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dracunculus vulgaris, the Dragon Arum or Snake Lily

The strange and unusual Dragon Arum or Snake Lily, aka Dracunculus vulgaris, despite its exotic look, can be grown relatively easily in a partially shaded garden in zones 5-8. These photos are of a specimen at the Niagara Parks' School of Horticulture & Botanical Gardens.

Even the foliage is ornamental, with the large, ruffled leaves arranged in sets of three and consisting of a snake-skin pattern.

Of course the flower is the main attraction with the purple-red spathe sending up an almost black "jack" (or spadix).

At some point in the maturing process, the flower begins to small like carrion for about a day, attracting flies to do their pollination business. This particular specimen did not smell yet, thankfully.

This is a very cool plant, native to the Balkans and Greece, the isle of Crete, the Aegean Islands, and up into Turkey.

Here's to dirt under your nails.

Mark, the coolplantsguy

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