Tuesday, June 14, 2005
That Voodoo That You Do.
A few years ago, some friends gave me a Voodoo lily bulb to pot up. I decided to plant it in the garden for the summer, but forgot to dig it up in the fall; I felt badly about wasting their gift, but gardeners have to be pretty blithe about killing things (at least this gardener does), so by the following spring I'd forgotten all about it. One day I noticed what I thought was a jack in the pulpit popping up in one of my beds (not an unusual occurence in my woodland garden), so paid it no mind, though it became very tall, with a nicely spotted stem. Well, the following spring, and every spring since, my "jack" has produced this flower! I thought maybe it is in fact a dracunculus (dragon arum), which is more hardy, but the flower doesn't seem right; but then it doesn't quite seem to match the pictures of the true voodoo lilies, amorphallus, either. Either way, it smells very badly in bloom, and is way cool. The foliage looks very much like an arisaema, with heavily spotted stalk and large palmate leaves.(Since posting this it struck me that I had previously identified the flower as Sauromatum venosum. Three things about this surprise me: first that a plant native to India is hardy here with no protection. Second, there are three different genera commonly called voodoo lilies. Third, I sure have forgotten a lot of things.)