PLANT OF THE MONTH

EDP Norfolk - - GARDEN GUIDE -

Dra­cun­cu­lus vul­garis (Dragon arum)

This im­pres­sive aroid from the eastern Mediter­ranean is al­ways a talk­ing point wher­ever it’s grown. In my gar­den its shoots usu­ally ap­pear in March, the at­trac­tive mot­tled stems grow quickly reach­ing around a me­tre with pale green, usu­ally mar­bled, leaves. By the end of May a large bud is formed open­ing to a dra­matic pur­ple-ma­roon spathe with a long pur­ple spadix pro­trud­ing from it. As it’s pol­li­nated by flies it does give off the smell of rot­ting meat, but only briefly and is worth en­dur­ing to en­joy grow­ing such an im­pres­sive plant. Dragon arums grow best in a shel­tered shady site. Plant tu­bers in plenty of mixed in sand and grit to pre­vent rot­ting in win­ter.

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