• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Dracunculus vulgaris

dragon arum

  • Other common names dragon arum
    brook leek

    dragon's female
    Indian turnip
    snake plant

    see more
  • Synonyms Arum dracunculus

  • Family Araceae

  • Genus Dracunculus are tuberous deciduous perennials with attractive leaves divided into several narrow, finger-like segments, and dramatic, foul-smelling, arum-type flowers in spring or summer; the plant dies down after flowering

  • Details D. vulgaris has a handsomely purple-spotted stem with several leaves 30cm wide or more, the narrow lobes sometimes splashed with silver; the flower consists of a hood-like deep purple spathe to 60cm long, with a blackish-purple spadix

  • Plant range Mediterranean


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing or North-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Sand


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Loam, Chalk

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 1-1.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.5-1 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Plant tubers 15cm (6in) deep in autumn or spring in humus-rich, well-drained soil that dries out in summer. Grows best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Protect with a dry winter mulch. Grows well in in open glades in sheltered woodland or at the base of a sunny wall. Consider the smell of the flowers when siting

Propagation Separate offsets in autumn or spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Banks and Slopes Flower borders and beds Architectural Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning necessary

Pests Generally trouble free

Diseases Generally trouble free

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