Dragon Lily, Dragon Arum, Black Arum, Vampire Lily
Looking to add a touch of mystery and magic to your garden this year? Then look no further than the Dracunculus vulgaris – also known as the Dragon Arum or Dragon Lily. These fiery lilies will certainly add a touch of drama to your borders, with their huge red-purple blooms appearing from May onwards.
The massive carmine hooded spathes and long, black central ‘finger’ (spadix) are bound to turn heads, and you’ll love the dramatic impact they have in your garden. Plant a few of these magical lilies in a sunny border and enjoy their otherworldly beauty all summer long.
Dracunculus vulgaris is a species of aroid flowering plant in the genus Dracunculus and the arum family Araceae. Despite its surreal, perhaps tropical, appearance, is is actually native to the Balkans and the Mediterranean region.
The Dragon Lily’s most notable feature is, of course, its large and distinct flower. This flower is reminiscent of that of the Peace Lily, hence its common name, but is large and purple to maroon in colour.
The smell of the flower, however, does not match its magnificent look. It produces quite an unpleasant odour to attract flies as pollinators. Fortunately this smell only lasts a few days before it dissipates.
Care & Size Guidance
The Dracunculus vulgaris is a deciduous plant, coming back from underground tubers every spring. Plant the bulbs in hummus rich soils, about 5 – 10 cm deep. Water in immediately after planting.
Though hardy enough, a layer of mulch will provide an extra protection to the tubers in winter. You may want to take out the tubers just before winter in colder areas where the soil is prone to freezing.
Huge carmine-red flowers come out in April – May providing a dramatic and exotic look to any garden. We suggest planting the Dragon Lily far away from windows, towards the back of the garden, so that for the few days after it potently blooms, it’s easily avoidable.