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Arisaema dracontium (L.) Schott

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Species Parent: Arisaema Status: Invalid Reason: unverified

Common Names:

  • GREEN-DRAGON - English, United States of America
  • DRAGON-ROOT - English, United States of America
  • GREEN-JACK - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Leaf usually solitary, divided into (5–)7– 15(–21) unequal and sometimes asymmetrical leaflets (sometimes some of the divisions are not completely separated into leaflets), these in a +/- semi-circular arrangement (very young plants can have the primary or only leaf with only 3 leaflets); spathe sheath-like, the summit with margins inrolled, tapering to a slender point; spadix 8–15+ cm long, the sterile portion long-exserted; fruits orangish red.


Ecology: This species is toxic in nature.

Notes: Low woods, moist slopes; Pineywoods and Gulf Prairies and Marshes w to Cross Timbers and Prairies and e Edwards Plateau; se Canada and throughout e U.S. w to MN and TX. Late Apr–May. Both diploids (2n = 28) and tetraploids (2n = 56) are known, and reproduction is reported to occur both clonally (offsets from the corm) and sexually (Boles et al. 1999 [2000]; Yang et al. 1999). The rust fungus Uromyces ari-triphylli (Schwein.) Seeler sometimes causes conspicuous lesions on GREEN-DRAGON in East TX (J. Hennen, pers. comm.). The tissues contain injurious calcium oxalate raphides (Lampe & McCann 1985). (Dracontium: Greek name for a kind of arum, presumably from draco, dragon)