Dracunculus, hardiness and seed set

Stacy, aroid hardiness is a messy question, and in many cases the true
hardiness of some aroids of rather tropical range is way beyond what I
would have expected. Dracunculus vulgaris specifically is hardy to at
least USDA zone 5, and grown by a number of us in USDA zone 6. I get the
odd night with temperatures down to -25 C (-17 or -18 F) and have been
growing them for years. An elderly lady near us said the plants in her
yard had been there since she was a child, so they are long-term survivors
in this climate. However, I've not heard any reports of survival beyond
USDA zone 5, and I didn't believe a lot of the other zone numbers in that
catalog, which I also happened to see.

Kevin, I get seed set every year on my plants, which are all offsets from
the 3 original bulbs given to me, which in turn were all offsets from 1
original bulb given to the person who gave them to me. If you have several
flowers opening at about the same time, I expect you will get seed.

You also asked about good general reference books. The one we all seem
to universally recommend for familiarity with the whole family,
"Aroids", by Deni Bown, is not currently in print. Whenever someone
reports finding a few copies somewhere, that store is besieged with
requests immediately, but you might be able to locate a copy somewhere. It
is (was) published by Timber Press, and the ISBN is 0-88192-092-4. We are
all hoping for a second edition. There are also some excellent works on
specific parts of the family, some done by members of this list, if you
are interested in particular groups.


-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@arachne.uark.edu

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