Dracunculus (Dragon Aroid)
If you are looking for something a little unusual in a plant, then Dracunculcus vulgaris could be it. This is one of the Ariods and grows widely in Crete through to Turkey. It is grown for the flowers, which are spectacular, however the foliage is also good through the season.
The most widely grown variety is Dracunculus vulgaris or ‘Dragon arum’ and it has wonderful blood red flowers. Both the spadix, which is so deep in color it appears almost black and the deep red to purple flower bract work well together to make this a dramitic plant when in full flower.
D. vulgaris is the best known of the species and is grown as an ornamental plant. The lesser known D. canariensis (Canary Dragon Aroid) is a white flowering species.
Dracunculcus vulgaris Care
D. vulgaris will grow well in hot dry conditions, over time forming dense clumps. The foliage appears over winter and in spring the large purple flower appears, making a dramatic appearance. It is a plant that grows well in part shade and is excellent near the drip line of deciduous trees. Also grows well in containers for those with limited space.
Only two in this species, one Dracunculus is almost black and the other is a beautiful white.
- Dracunculus vulgaris is known as the Dragon Arum or Voodoo Lily. With its near black spadex it is well known for the smell of the flower, not pleasant at all.
- Dracunculus canariensis is the white flowering species, this one has a much nicer smell, fruity, like mango. (very rare) This one needs a dry dormant spell and does not seem to tolerate frost.