Dracunculus vulgaris ~ Voodoo Lily
Dracunculus vulgaris is spectacular in the garden. But the Voodoo Lily smells rather like old fish. It is common for dark red or purple flowers like this to attract flies as pollinators. If given a somewhat remote (and maybe downwind) location in the garden Dracunculus vulgaris will provide a pleasant and spectacular surprise each Spring. If planted a little close, like the first time I planted it (under my daughter's bedroom window) you might receive lots of grief from a spouse or a more tasteful friend. Like many of the Arums Dracunculus vulgaris will go dormant for much of the year and produce an extravagant display in the Spring. The Voodoo Lily will produce flowers in full sun or even in relatively dark shade. Extra irrigation will make larger plants and they will last a little longer but Dracunculus vulgaris is fully capable of surviving in our climate. I have had plants come back after winter temperatures dropped into the low teens for four successive nights. Dracunculus vulgaris is native to the eastern Mediterranean. With such a striking aspect it is no small wonder that I is called by a variety of common names, Dragon arum, Dragonwort and maybe most appropriately Stink Lily.
High resolution photos of Dracunculus vulgaris are part of our garden image collection.