Dracunculus vulgaris Schott

First published in H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 17 (1832)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is S. Central Europe to W. & SW. Türkiye, NE. Algeria. It is a tuberous geophyte and grows primarily in the subtropical biome.

Descriptions

CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011. araceae.e-monocot.org

General Description
Moderate to very robust, solitary to clump-fonning herb to 2 m. Tuber 5-12 x 3-6 cm, solitary, sometimes producing offsets from adventitious buds. Pseudostem 35-150 x 3-9 cm, pale to mid-grey-green with numerous jagged dark purple to almost black markings. LEAVES 10-21 x 18-45 cm, bright mid- to deep green, occasionally with conspicuous white streaks. INFLORESCENCE 25-135 cm in total length, smelling strongly of dung and carrion when newly opened; peduncle mostly enclosed by the pseudostem, visible portion 5-18 x 2-5 cm, concolorous mid-green; spathe tube 8-15 x 3-7 cm, oblong-cylindric to ellipsoid, convolute, exterior mid-green, slightly glaucous, rarely pale greenish white or dirty yellowish, interior deep purple, sometimes white to cream towards the opening; spathe limb 17-110 x 8-34 cm, ovate-lanceolate to oblong-triangular, acuminate, exterior mid- to dark green, margins and outer parts of limb usually stained deep purple, rarely pale greenish white or dirty yellowish, interior deep velvety purple, rarely greenish white or dirly yellowish, very rarely with conspicuous white, lilac and purple marbling; spadix 24-134 cm in total length; spadix appendix 20-128x 1.5-7 cm, stipitate, stout-cylindric to fusiform, larger appendices often strongly flattened laterally, deep glossy purple, rarely lilac, stipe deep purple, rarely white. Flowers; pistillate flowers arranged in an oblong-fusiform zone 2-4 x 1.5-3 cm, ovary oblong 2-3.4 x 1.5 -2mm, cream to yellow green, stylar region purple, stigma 0.5-0.75 x 0.3-0.5 mm, subcapitate, papillate, cream; interstice 1-5 mm long, cream; pistillodes present or absent, 1.5-3 x 0.5-1 mm, peg-like, cream; staminate flowers arranged in an oblong to onblong-fusiform zone 2-5 x 1.5-3, anthers 1.5-2 x 2-2.5, dark yellow, thecae stained mid-purple apically. INFRUCTESCENCE 4-12 x 3-5 cm, comprised of c. 60-80 berries, sometimes partially to completely encased in the dry spathe tube remnants; berries obovoid, 3-5 x 4-7 mm, orange-red when ripe. Seed compressed globose, 3-4 mm diameter., pale brown. Chromosome count 2n = 28
Diagnostic
Although the inflorescence of D. canariensis is superficially similar to that D. vulgaris it appears that D. canariensis has evolved in association with a difierent pollinator. The pale spathe limb, yellow spadix appendix and semen-like odour attract small flies, wasps and small bees (Boyce, pers. obs.) The spathe tube gapes at the front and allows insects direct access to the flowers whereas in D. vulgaris the potential pollinators (large flies, Staphylinid and Scarabidinid beetles) enter the spathe tube and gain access to the flowers by descending the spadix appendix.
Distribution
Distribution. Balkans, Aegean Islands, SW Turkey. Collections from Italy are possibly introduced; material from further west and from North Africa almost certainly represents introductions.
Habitat
Ecology. Maquis, garrigue, undisturbed olive groves, waste land.
[CATE]

Sources

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
  • CATE Araceae

    • Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images