There be dragons: Lilies with X fac­tor

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

Some­times you come across some­thing in the coun­try­side that makes you stand back in amaze­ment. One plant that def­i­nitely has the X fac­tor is the dragon lily. I en­coun­tered the mar­bled cream stem of this gar­den plant at the edge of some wood­land near New Rom­ney back in April, and have kept an eye on it un­til it flow­ered this month. It is so dis­tinc­tive with its big black spadix and dark pur­ple spathe or hood. It looks like a small dragon breath­ing out fire. Hence the name. It is na­tive to Greece and the eastern Mediter­ranean, but in the UK – apart from it be­ing an un­usual gar­den plant – it tends not to es­cape and flour­ish in the wild. Very few are recorded in Kent, to my knowl­edge. So let me know if you see any in the coun­try­side. One dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of this arum is the fact that it is

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