The Voodoo lily another stinky flower

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

A dragon arum, the Voodoo lily. ( (Dracunculus vulgaris) is a large flower grow over 80cm in height. The mature flower brightly colored is almost big enough to stick your head in if you could tolerate the smell of rotting meat which attracts flies. The bad odor only lasts one day after the flies come the plant disperses its pollen when it sticks to the flies body and then carried off. The flower then dies. The very striking deep purple-black flower spike sends upward a shimmering purple-black “jack” which can grow to as long as fifty inches, though a foot length is more likely & still mightily impressive.

This plant grows byvoodoo-lilly dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs.
image courtesy of It is native to the Balkans, to Mediterranean Europe, Greece, the isle of Crete & the Aegean Islands, all the way to Southwest Turkey. In some places it’s a veritable weed in its natural settings, albeit a weed of splendid countenance.

Long before blooming, in March when these are merely foot-tall stalks or pseudostems, with as few as three leaves on top, the plants are already very pretty. The thick sturdy stalks look like those on certain jack-in-the-pulpits with a snakeskin pattern, and the leaves arranged in sets of three look like an ornate ruffly version of trilliums

The root is toxic, but has been gathered and processed by cooking and pounding to obtain edible starch called Arum Arrowroot, with which to pad out wheat flour in times of limited resources or famine.

Excerpts from
http://www.paghat.com/voodoolily.html

Image courtesy of

http://www.west-crete.com/dailypics/photos/644large.jpghttp://www.west-crete.com/dailypics/photos/644large.jpg

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