Friday, 16 July 2021

Summer Flower Quiz - the answer

1. Dracunulus Vulgaris - dragon lily, voodoo lily, stink lily, black lily etc.

2. Endemic to the Balkans, extending as far as Greece, Crete, the Aegean Islands, and to parts of SW Anatolia in Turkey.

3. A member of the Araceae family. 

4. Should not be grown too close to habitation due to its strong putrid smell. 

It became clear to me that not many people have actually seen this flower or perhaps even knew about it.

Why do I have it growing in my garden? I first discovered the plant about 25 years ago growing in a garden that we visited. I was intrigued by it, and for that matter I still am. I wondered whether it would be possible for me to grow one too. My plant is now almost 25 years old and turns up, along with its offsprings, every year, come rain, snow, sunshine, or whatever weather is thrown at it. I don't protect it during the winter or give it any special treatment. However, importantly I have sited it well away from our house. Why? because for just 24 hours only during the year it smells of putrid rotting meat. This attracts plenty of flies to pollinate it. 

By growing this plant I am apparently in good company. It also grows in The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where it is a great favourite with their visitors. The Met always hope that it will bloom for them and give out a good flourish of scent on their 'Garden Days'. 

Sitting amongst the small flowers of Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' makes it easier to appreciate its size. 
☆☆☆☆☆☆
The first and only 100% correct answer was received from John @ "By Stargoose And Haglands". I am not surprised as John is extremely knowledgeable about flowers, trees, animals, insects and birds - very well done John.
75% goes to Mariette @ "Back to Basics". She got the first three questions correct, but not No.4
75% goes to John King (who doesn't appear to have a blog) and to Margaret D @ "thoughts & happenings" who also both answered three questions correctly. However, in question No.3. I asked which family does the plant belonged to - the answer being Araceae. John gave the name Aroid as did Margaret, but neither gave the plant its correct family name - Aroid is its species.
My thanks go to Mariette, John and Margaret too.

30 comments:

  1. My goodness, amazing I was near correct..Thanks Rosemary.

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    1. Well done Margaret - I am sure that you have never seen this before - did Google help you out?

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  2. Complete and utter fail on my part then!! Lol - great photo though, thanks. Not one I'm in a hurry to have here, though!

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    1. I wouldn't say utter fail MrsL, you were on the right track. Lots of people say that they wouldn't have it, but I wonder why? Could it be the smell that puts you off? It only lasts for a very brief period during its whole yearly life cycle.

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    2. - because my garden is so wee, I think the smell could well permeate the house......... ! Spectacular, though.

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    3. It would also be rather big for a small garden too.

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  3. My initial response had been something akin to Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) so I was on the right track, but the actual plant was totally unknown to me. Congratulations to John for getting it right.

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    1. I did recognise that you were on the right track David - I did suspect that John might be the one who would be able to answer all four of the questions.

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  4. I'm not really that knowledgeable; all I remembered was its common name and the smell (which is not easily forgotten), the rest was easy to find out.

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    1. You were the only one to get it totally correct John. I think that google's search engines came in very useful.

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  5. Dearest Rosemary,
    Well, did not get that 'stinky' aspect as being that strong...
    Enjoy your 25-year old souvenir and offspring! That is very special and in a large size garden will not bother you much for those 24 hours.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - you are right, the garden is plenty big enough to site it well away from any open doors or windows. But the fun that I get from growing it far outweighs the smell which is over and done with very quickly.

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  6. Congrats to the knowledgeable ones! Are you sending them a putrid-smelling clipping as a prize?

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  7. Hello Rosemary, Your quizzes make mine look like a walk in the park! After I wrote in, I checked around and found Dracunulus Vulgaris, but I didn't want to send in an answer I had frankly looked up.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I hope that you enjoyed finding out more about this interesting plant.

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  8. Hello, Rosemary.
    Tom King here. I discontinued my blog, My Education of a Gardener, in July 2019. My final post was to feature Dranunculus vulgaris, which I have grown on and off for nearly 30 years. An admirable, fascinating plant. Many people advise against planting Dranunculus near walkways because of the carrion smell when blooming. Nonsense. I put it right by the front door. Its not often you encounter a bloom that looks and smells like that, and the smell is only strong for a few days.
    Glad to see someone spreading the word about this remarkable plant. Best wishes to you.

    https://myeducationofagardener.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hello Tom - Sorry to learn that you have given up your blog, but thank you for visiting here.
      It has never been of great concern to me that the Dracunculus vulgaris smells but it certainly appears to deter others. I am pleased that it happily thrives in our garden - I am always pleased to see it when it reappears each Spring.
      Do please come again.
      I had a look at your blog and noticed that you said that you had your Dracunculus vulgaris growing with a Datura. Sadly I have recently discovered that my Datura suffered during the winter months so I must now seek out another.

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    2. Others offended by a remarkably rotten smell? That's why we live well and garden, Rosemary.

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  9. This is a plant I've never heard of. It's very striking! Kudos to those who guessed correctly, or almost correctly!

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    1. It's a once seen never forgotten plant Lorrie.

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  10. I have heard of it, probably seen it on some programme or other but I would never have guessed the answer, even after hours of online searching. Helps if you have an idea of what to look for as I've spent days searching for a tiny fly only to find out it's not really a proper fly. Once I knew what to look under, then it was easy. Mind you, I often forget what I was looking for standing in the living room as soon as I climb the stairs to get it. Very annoying!

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    1. I think that you might remember this one Bob.

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  11. never seen one of those before! looks tropical. Congratulations to those knowledgeable bloggers that got the answers.

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    1. I must admit that it does look as if it would be more at home on a tropical island.

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  12. Oh, so sorry that I missed the flower-quiz, Rosemary! (I was in the Netherlands, back to Berlin, now Bavaria). But I am sure I would not have guessed it.
    Here in Bavaria I enjoy so many wild flowers - and some butterflies that I haven't seen for a long, long time.

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