Dracunculus from seeds

This is a response to Ellen's query, and for everyone else who still has the
Cretan Dracunculus...

I collected some seeds of the 'normal' purple-spathed Dracunculus vulgaris
in Crete in October 1987 and sowed them soon afterwards. They germinated in
spring 1988 and flowered for the first time last year, i.e. in their 9th
growing season (!). They were in a very gritty, rather poor soil, which is
not ideal, so I don't think you need to wait as long as I did for yours to
flower. When mine did flower, the plants were quite small (only about 30 cm
tall), with smallish spathes too, which suggests they didn't have all the
nutrients they would have liked. Perhaps under good conditions you could
expect to wait 4 or 5 years, i.e. a first flowering next year or in 1999 (I
collected the seeds on July 4th 1994).

Has anyone flowered the Arum purpureospathum or A. idaeum yet?


Nick Turland,
Department of Botany, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
Telephone/voicemail: + 44 171 938 8803  Fax: + 44 171 938 9260  Email:

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