Dracunculus Adans.

Dragon Plant

Greek diminutive of draco – dragon, full name means little dragon.

Tuberous perennials to about 2 m tall. Leaves few, fan-shaped (pedate); stalks consisting of overlapping sheaths. Inflorescences produced at the same time as the leaves on stalks, longer than the leaf stalks. Spathe blade expanded, base with overlapping margins. Flowers unisexual, perianth absent. Spadix slightly shorter than the spathe with male and female zones often adjacent, the male florets with 2-4 stamens; tip with a foul-smelling, long, protruding appendix. Ovary 1-chambered. Fruit a green to orange-yellow or red berry containing 6 seeds.

In this genus the inflorescence produces a foul smell like rotting meat which attracts carrion-visiting insects. The spadix sometimes heats up during this process and this is thought to help spread the smell.

It is a poisonous plant avoided by grazing animals.

3 species from the Mediterranean.

Seeds and offsets.

Leaves few, fan-shaped (pedate); spathe over 30 cm long; spadix with long foul-smelling appendix.

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Araceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Alismatales
family       Araceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Dracunculus vulgaris Schott