This genus contains the plant pictured in Fig. 734. It has uncanny, dragon-fingered lvs. and a terrifying odor when in flower. lts tubers are sold by bulb dealers under the name of Arum Dracumulus. The latest monographer of this order (Engler, in DC. Mon. 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 lvs. of the true Arums are always arrow-shaped, while in Dracunculus they are sometimes cut into finger-like lobes. For culture, see Arum.
There are only 2 species. The common one is an entertaining, not to say exciting, plant. When it flowered in the foreing-houses at Cornell University, innocent visitors thought there must be a dead rat under the floor. It is well worth growing for the experience, though its stench is not quite as bad as that of a Helicosideros, sold as Arum crinitum, which makes any house unbearable in which it flowers. Nearly all Arums are ill smelling.
vulgarls, Schott. Fig. 734. Sheath of lvs. 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. Mediterranean regions. W.M.