- Subject: Helicodiceros hardiness
- From: James Waddick <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 19:51:32 -0500
Title: Helicodiceros hardiness
I have reported earlier on my surprised hardiness of Helicodiceros muscivorus, the
Dead Horse Arum. I obtained tubers of
this species over a decade ago. I have grown it in a large pot in a
cool winter greenhouse (frost free) where it has flourished and
bloomed once. I routinely repot it and have sent away dozens of
tubers to friends. This year my potted plant bloomed again, only
its second bloom.
A few years ago - at least 4, but maybe 5 or 6 - I
planted one tuber outdoors in my Zone 5 garden. The site is W. facing
and sloped, nearly full sun. The tuber has come up and increased in
This year, yesterday, it produced a flower from this
tuber. It was a typical flower with an overpowering odor. It was
inundated with house flies.
I was again surprised that it had not only survived, but has
grown in size and now bloomed.
Just curious about the hardiness, I Goggled this species and
saw a couple of listings for USDA Zone 9 and 10, more for zones 7 and
8. We had an unusually long cold winter this year. We often have a
mid-winter break with temps up to 50 degrees F for as long as
week, but this year held no respite. We stay quite cold with many days
at or below 0 F.
I am curious if anyone else has tried and succeeded with this
species outdoor in similar climates, Zone 5.
Curiously I had 2 open flowers on Dracunculus vulgaris
on the same day (6 more flowers unopened). This species does very well
here and blooms routinely in a variety of exposures.
I see where Dracunculus has a chromosome number of 2N
=28, while that of
Helicodiceros is 2N=56. Furthermore these species do not grow in
nature any location together as far as I can tell. These
chromosome number gives some potential for the production of a
triploid hybrid. Anyone know more about this or care to
Finally, this leads me to try the 'missing species'
Dracunculus canariensis. Does anyone grow this species and have a
tuber to spare? Will this prove hardy here, too?
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Zone 5 Record low -23F
Summer 100F +
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