Garden Voodoo

Occasionally I am drawn to a plant just because it’s weird. That is the case with Amorphophallus, commonly known as Voodoo Lily. I spotted the unusual speckled stem and tropical looking leaves at a visit to the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge a couple of years ago. (If you have never visited the Lake Lure Bridge, located in Lake Lure, NC, plan a summer trip NOW.)

I was unfamiliar with this plant, so it took me a year to correctly identify it. A mature specimen produces a flower before the first leaves appear. The flower has the scent of rotting meat, to attract flies for pollination. Leaves appear after the bloom has faded. The appearance of the flower gives you an idea as to why the Latin name is Amorphophallus.  For photos and a colorful description, see this website link to Plant Delights Nursery, also in NC:

Through the kindness of a friend, I was able to obtain a specimen last summer from her generous neighbor. I wasn’t sure about its cold hardiness, so I kept it in a container. I moved the container to my heated greenhouse after it went dormant.  It was late to emerge this year, giving me a scare that I had lost it.

Once it popped through the soil and its decorative pot dressing of moss, it grew rapidly. These photos were taken just a few days apart. Looks like I need a bigger pot!