A few year ago I traded plants with a gardener on the Internet and what I received were about three bulbs labeled "Voodoo Lily." Not really knowing much about them I planted them in the garden closest to the house to help protect and overwinter them in the garden. For about three years the foliage would get about two feet high in the shady part of the garden and then die down when it go really hot. The first year growing Voodoo Lily bulbs I thought they had died after surviving the winter.
Last fall I was on this garden design kick and had psyched myself up to sit down and create a plan for the garden and properly place plants. While digging up some other plants I came across the Voodoo Lily bulbs and decided to move them to the sunniest part of the garden.
This spring the tulip, crocus and allium foliage emerged and so did the foliage for my Voodoo Lilies. I didn't think much of it because the foliage always grew. Then one day I noticed that this year the foliage was different, it was larger, taller and there was one stem that had a blood red tint to it. That stem turned out to be a flower scape. My Voodoo Lilies were actually going to bloom!
A couple of days ago the scape unfurled and revealed this exotic bloom that is right at home in any gothic garden. It reminded me that I once wanted a garden consisting of all black flowers, where this gothic-looking plant would've been right at home.
Voodoo Lily is a common name for a various plants, but I think this Voodoo Lily is properly known as Dracunculus vulgaris. Other common names it goes by are: Dragon Arum, Black Lily, Dragon Flower, Dragon Arum, Snake Lily and Stink Lily.
Perhaps you've heard that these plants are suppose to stink like rotting flesh, it is true--they smell something awful. The smell attracts flies that pollinate them and beetles.
I think I lucked out because my Voodoo Lily bloomed during a couple of days of rain that kept the flies from visiting. A few flies couldn't resist the pungent aroma and visited when the rains let up, as you can see by the garden video below, and today I spotted a beetle covered in pollen walking up and down the spadix, the purple stem in the center.
Words can't convey how excited I am that my Voodoo Lily bulbs finally decided to bloom. When I'm not gagging because of the smell I'm grinning like a fool, making myself sniff the flower to see how the smell changes over time. What is it with me and stinky plants?
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