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Herbaceous Perennial

Dracunculus vulgaris

dragon arum

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

Other common names
brook leek
dragon
see moredragon's female
edderwort
faverole
Indian turnip
snake plant
Synonyms
Arum dracunculus

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing or North–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Araceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Mediterranean

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
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning necessary

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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