What is Dracunculus Vulgaris?
Dracunculus is a plant that features a large spadix and spathe in purple; it often resembles a dragon, hence its name. It releases a bad smell of rotten meat to lure flies and other insect pollinators for pollination. It also has large palmate leaves that sometimes have cream flecks deposited on the leaf veins.
Also known as Dragon Arum, Dracunculus, Black Arum, Dragon Lily, Snake Lily, Voodoo Lily, Black Dragon, Dragonwort, Black Lily, Stink Lily and Ragons, the Little Dragon is an aroid plant species under the Dracunculus genus.
The Greece native range is known as Drakondia; a small dragon, the long spadix, is enclosed in the spathe. They are hardy perennials that bloom in the first few months of summer. The species from France is referred to as Tarragon.
Cultivation of the Little Dragon
The Little Dragon does well in hot climates and can tolerate some shade. Although it's drought resistant, it requires some watering. It's planted in well-drained, alkaline soils rich in humus.The herbaceous plants grow in hardiness zones 7 to 9 and can attain a maximum height of 36 inches.
They can take 30 to180 days to germinate. Dracunculus seeds are planted in the shaded parts of a garden in late winter or early spring. Due to the plant's bad scent and the fact that it attracts flies, it should be grown outdoors in a pot for its many benefits.
The plant is used to make Tarragon or estragon essential oils. It has antibacterial properties that act against pneumonia and is rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals. They are used in culinary to improve digestive problems and can treat rheumatoid disorders and arthritis. It can also be used on venomous snake bites.
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