Early days of the bloom - smells like a dead rat. Almost a week into the bloom, and the smell has faded.

Dragon Lilies or Viagra Lilies are in the arum family [Dracunculus vulgaris], like Tabatha the Titan, and can be grown outdoors in Davis. It takes some patience to grow these stinky beauties, however, because conditions are fairly specific and it can take ten years unless you happen to have just the right microclimate where you've lovingly placed your little stink-bulb. This rather bizarre plant may do nothing more than produce some interesting foliage for several years before actually blossoming — and then it will produce only a single blossom on the plant during any blooming season. The blossom, in reality, is a spathe. As it unfurls, it reveals a slender, black center appendage, known as the spadix, which can be between 10"-53" long. Hundreds of actual flowers, both male and female, are hidden deep inside the spathe, which features a bulbous chamber. Like the Titan arums living in UC Davis' Botanical Conservatory, the dragon lily relies on flies and other insects for pollination, and therefore emits a putrid dung- and carrion-like smell, to attract them.

The arum family also counts among its members calla lilies, skunk cabbage, jack in the pulpit, and voodoo lilies. To see what other plants grow around town, please visit our Town Flora page.