This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Latin, a little dragon). Aracese. Odd tuberous plants sometimes grown under glass.
This plant has interesting dragon-fingered leaves and a terrifying odor when in flower. Its tubers are sold by bulb dealers under the name of Arum Dracunculus. The monographer of this order (Engler, in DC. Mon.
Fig. 1346. Dracunculus vulgaris.
Phan., vol. 2, 1879) puts this plant into the genus Dracunculus because the ovules are attached to the base of the ovary, while in Arum they are attached to the side. The leaves of the true arums are always arrow-shaped, while in Dracunculus they are sometimes cut into finger-like lobes. There are only 2 species. The common one is an entertaining, not to say exciting, plant. It is well worth growing for the experience, though its stench is not quite so bad as that of a helicodiceros, sold as Arum crinitum, which makes any house unbearable in which it flowers. Nearly all arums are ill-smelling. for cultivation, see Arum.
Schott. Fig. 1346. Sheath of leaves livid, spotted; stalks green; blades with 10 fingers projecting from a bow-shaped base: tube of spathe streaked with purple except at the bottom; spathe purple all over and much darker along the wavy border. Medit. regions. G.C. III. 47:198. Wilhelm Miller.