Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Please Don't Smell the Flowers

At least not the
Dracunculus Vulgaris

(The picture and description from Breck's catalog).

Large, exotic 10" dark red flowers with black pistils are enhanced by distinctive spotted leaves. A unique collector's plant to highlight a special bed. Zones 5-10. 20-25 cm bulbs.

Height: 14-20"
Blooms: Late Spring

The description does not mention what every gardener on the web has --
this plant puts out an incredible stinky odor on the first day of bloom -- some say it's akin to rotting meat and it attracts flies, which are its main pollinators.

They are exotic, strange-looking and even after I read the above, I want one.

Breck's has 3 bulbs for $17.99.
I am sending in my order today.

Now I need to find the perfect spot for 3 big stinky plants that attract flies.

Update: Oh, dear, I just read that they smell like dead rats!
Fortunately I've never had the displeasure of smelling a dead rat, so can only assume it is quite bad.
Too late now, since the order is already in the mailman's hands.

Does anybody grow these?
Hopefully you can tell me that they do not remind you of decaying rats!


  1. Oh Zoey, yesterday I think about buying this plant with lilac flowers. But it is not winter-hardy, or?


  2. Sigrun, it says it's hardy to zone 5 (which is the zone I am in). I will mulch it (if I remember) just in case.

  3. Zoey,
    If they truly do smell like dead rats plant them r.e.a.l.l.y far away!
    Speaking as one who has smelled same, I don't think you'd want that smell nearby!
    Lovely color though...

  4. As cool as this looks, I don't think I could take the smell. Put them at the far end of your garden where there is no backdraft. : )

  5. Oh Zoey!

    This seems so out of character for you.

    These guys do have good foliage, if I am remembering correctly. You might make them a pot plant - put them out in the borderlands to flower and admire from a distance, then use on the patio/deck for a spray of exotic foliage.

    Don't you overwinter/store pots in the garage or under the house? Treat them like that - they will be less hardy in a pot, but should be fine with that kind of protection.

    They are amazing looking!

  6. If it's a windy day and I can smell something like dead rats I'll know it's coming from your place! lol I'd never heard of these plants and I think I'll pass on them!! lol

  7. Put them near the neighbor that you're not especially fond of, and would like to see move. Just kidding.

    I don't know if I would want a plant that smells like dead rats. I've never smelled dead rats, but dead anything is bad enough.


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