BULB PLANT - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Linda Delgado
Centerville, CA (Zone 8A)
Question by theprincessl
August 18, 2005
I have this one plant that grows every year. I have not been able to find any information on this plant. It is called Dracunculus vulgaris. It's beautiful when it blooms. Only last for one day. I have taken some seeds from the plant, don't know how to go about planting them. Please help...Thanks L. Delgado

Answer from NGA
August 18, 2005


Dracunculus vulgaris (aka Arum dracunculus) is variously called the Dragon Arum, Voodoo Lily, Ragons, Snake Lily, Black Arum, Black Dragon, Dragonwort, and Stink Lily.

It is native to the Balkans, to Mediterranean Europe, Greece, the isle of Crete and the Aegean Islands, all the way to Southwest Turkey. In some places it's considered a weed in its natural settings, although a weed of splendid countenance. Though it looks like it ought to be tropical, it is not; it grows well in zones 5-8.

Gardeners have reported them spreading quite wildly, & requiring no special attention of any kind. They spread by self-seeding & by bulb offsets. If the seedheads are not collected, they will eventually fall over in the garden, where beetles or ants cart them away, spreading the voodoo lily more distantly.

The seeds should be easy to germinate, especially if you simply broadcast them on the ground near the parent plant (where the environment and cultural conditions are probably perfect). When the seedlings emerge, you can transplant them to other parts of your garden. If you prefer to sow them in pots or flats, use moistened seed starting mix and place the seeds on the surface, lightly pressing them down so they make good contact with the growing medium. Keep the medium moist but not soggy wet and the seeds should germinate. (Spring is the best time for sowing these seeds in pots; if sowing directly in the garden, broadcast them as soon as you collect them.)

Best wishes with your new voodoo lilies!

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