Thursday, June 24, 2010

Draculanculus Vulgaris

I was shopping for dill weed at Traces and saw a huge version of this flower.  This is the only one of mine that has flowered so far, but if I give them the slightest care I might get more blooms. 

The Dragon flower (Dracunculus vulgaris) is an interesting member of the Arum family and a native of the Mediterranean region. The plant's name is associated with its resemblance to a dragon's tongue. This unusual plant is also called the Voodoo lily, Black dragon, and Dragon arum.

Its dark purple spadix emits a most unforgettable foul odor smelling of rotten meat. Fortunately, this rotten odor occurs only when the flower is mature and lasts long enough to attract a few flies, approximately one day. Flies are its chief pollinator of the Dragon flower.

So far I have noticed no scent of rotten meat.  I was told at Traces that theirs hasn't propagated, but mine has and mine is small in comparison.

Considered huge in every way, mature dragon flower plants reach heights of 18-30 inches tall. The 10-12 inch flowers range in color from deep maroon to nearly black and last for 7-10 days. You can expect to find the unusual Dragon flower plant blooming in late spring to early summer.

I can hardly wait for mine to get that big.  The woman at Traces said she has a collector of rare and unusual flowers who is in the market for one.  I may follow up with this, since I have several.  But first I'm going to give it a little care, since: This plant grows in either full sun or light shade and prefers moist, humus-rich soil.  My soil is far from rich and mostly hard as rock clay.  Oh well.