Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Voodoo Lily aka corpse lily ( Amorphophallus konjac )




This plant is one of the reasons I love our subtropical climate. It may take a few years before I see a flower, usually the plant must be 6 years old before flowering.

The leaf is just one leaf which is what you see in the photo right now.

The flower, when it arrives, will be purple and like a calla lily but about 2′ high on a stalk that is about 5′ tall and stinking of rotten meat. The smell only lasts a few days so don’t let that keep you from growing this plant. The plant is fertilized by beetles in its native habitats of Indonesia.

The flower arrives first in the spring usually in May, and after the flower is gone the leaf will arrive a month or so later in June.

This plant wants bog conditions or a pond or at the very least daily watering. But may rot if we have a wet winter. This one died during a summer drought.

Plant in the shade. I find it is susceptible to leaf scorch in dry, windy conditions.

It will eventually form a clump of plants.

Many local gardeners grow this in pots and take it in when cold, but there is no need, it should winter over just fine in Houston.

Each year the tubers of this plant shrink to be replaced by larger ones that grow over the summer.

It is susceptible to nematodes.

Its cousin amorphophallus titanum is the one that makes the news when it blooms. That flower is about 9′ tall.

More information:
This issue of Wayne’s Word is Dedicated to Stinking Flowers