Tuesday, February 16, 2010

VooDoo Lily

Since today is Mardi Gras, I thought it would be appropriate to write a bit about the VooDoo Lily. (See the connection ... Mardi Gras, New Orleans, VooDoo?)

The VooDoo Lily is a common name given to a wide range of species belonging to the Amorphophallus genus of the Arum famliy. It is a tuberous, herbaceous plant native to tropical and subtropical climates from West Africa to the Pacific Islands. There is no native species in the Americas. Even many Arum species have acquired the name of VooDoo Lily or Dragon Lily.

The VooDoo Lily can range in size from fairly small to well over 7ft. ! The plant will produce a single leaf and leaf stalk on a 'trunk'. The leaf may have smaller leaflets. This leaf will only last one growing season.

All VooDoo Lilies are distinguished by the unique flower produced upon maturity. The flower will consist of a sheathing bract which envelopes a flower spike. Both male and female flowers will be born on this flower spike but the plant is not self-pollinating. It produces an odor similar to that of rotting flesh which attracts insects that pollinate it. The flower will last only one day. Pollinated flowers will produce berries along the stalk.

All parts of the VooDoo Lily are poisonous. And skin irritation can occur when handling the leaf or flower.

With proper care, a VooDoo Lily can be grown in a flower pot but they prefer a moist shady flower bed.


  1. ~the first is magnificent...i have never seen such depth of color...gorgeous...brightest blessings~

  2. That's really amazing--they truly look more like animal and flesh than plant. Creepy cool!