Greetings from Seattle



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pretty Stinky


Pretty and stinky!

Everything is early this year, including the blooming of the Voodoo Lily, Dracunculus vulgaris.


 Tom came in from mowing the lawn Saturday morning and said that I might not want to go sit in the lower garden. It was stinky down there. That could only mean that the voodoo lily buds I had been watching were beginning to open. 
 Sure enough, by Saturday evening the first bloom was fully open, and attracting flies like crazy. You see, even though it is a gorgeous purple flower, it is also a fetid flower, sending off the fragrance of rotting meat. That's so it can attract flies and other bug pollinators. 
 Tom used a ruler to show the size on one bloom. The spathe is about eight inches across the the spadix or spike is well over a foot long. 
I counted seven buds in all.
 By Sunday morning there were three buds in bloom, and the air was ripe with stink. The flowers send off their odor for about two days, so as all of the buds bloom, we should have about a week's worth of stinky beauty. It's 93 here today, so they'll pop open fast. 
I hope the neighbors don't complain. 

17 comments:

  1. That is one unusual plant. I assume it is a bulb? Do you ever see it in the gardens you tour? Do you only have the one plant? How many years have you grown this flower? How did you hear about it? Is it hard to find in local nurseries. Very beautiful. I enjoyed seeing it.

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  2. Yes, it is a bulb or corm. We first saw it in a garden we toured. I think we bought it at a plant sale. We moved it from it's original location about three years ago, into more sun, and it has just gone crazy. We had it for about five years in the shadier location and it bloomed once or twice. It produces bulblets, and we see that there are more growing in the original location, but one is enough.

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  3. Very interesting plant! Fun to see it bloom!:)

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  4. I inherited several of these with the garden. Seems they were quite popular in this neighborhood in earlier days as many of my neighbors have them as well. They've also hitched rides with plants that have been moved so now they're everywhere. Fortunately, the stink fest doesn't last too long.

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  5. Those Voodoo lilies look like the blooms are 3 feet tall. They also really resemble the Corpse flower that people line up to see in Illinois. I think yours look prettier though. I've never smelled the Corpse flower which is supposed to smell like rotting meat too.

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  6. What a big lily flower! They look very beautiful. Love the color.

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  7. Very interesting, I thought these only grew in tropical climates. A local greenhouse nearby has one and it almost gets written about in the local newspaper when it blooms. I never heard of one growing in anyone's garden here in New England anyway.

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  8. I was thinking of your neighbors and wondering how far the odor would travel! It's an intriguing plant, regardless.

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  9. interesting way to catch bugs and have a stinky garden for a few days...lol!

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  10. It's supposed to get a bit cooler today, but your stinky blooms will be over fast. I didn't know you had this plant! :-)

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  11. They might stink, but they are so beautiful.

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  12. Beautiful! We had two of these in our Seattle yard when we lived there. My sons were preschoolers and fascinated with how bad they smelled.

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  13. Definitely different. It is such a rich colour of reddish purple! Lovely but smelly.

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  14. I don't I've ever seen that flower before!

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  15. So beautiful. How often do they bloom and you have 7. Wonderful.

    I thought you had to grow them in a conservatory but I guess not. Congrats to you and your stinky flowers.
    MB

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  16. So happy to see your voodoo lily in bloom and to see the leaves it produces. I've had several of these plants for years and they have never bloomed. However, in looking at the leaves, I am sure they are the same plant as yours. My sister gave me the bulbs years ago and I've been waiting ever since to see them bloom. They have spread a lot, so I have many plants and hope one day to see them bloom. Yours are beautiful!

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  17. You could hand out clothes pins for your neighbors.. Lol

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