AppearanceThe species is characterized by a large purple spathe and spadix, which has a very unpleasant smell reminiscent of rotting meat to attract flies (Lucilia and others) as pollinators. The large palmate leaves have occasional cream flecks along the veins.
DistributionDracunculus vulgaris is endemic to the Balkans, extending as far as Greece, Crete, and the Aegean Islands, and also to the south-western parts of Anatolia.
It has been introduced to northern Europe, and North America, both to the United States, where it is present in the states of Kansas, Oregon, California, Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and to Canada, where it has been grown in the province of Ontario.
UsesThe plant can tolerate some shade but prefers full sun; it can also withstand drought but benefits from a little watering. The plant prefers a humus-rich, well-drained soil.
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