Arisaema dracontium (Green Dragon)

Going dormant in mid-summer, Green Dragons or Dragon Roots are aroids that are very similar to Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). These only grow a single compound leaf that splits into two stem-like portions with elliptical to lanceolate leaflets. The spadix is not covered by its spathe, and instead lies closely to the enlarged petiole.

Arisaema dracontium (Green Dragon)
Family: Araceae
Subspecies: none
Native: North America
Hardiness Zones: 4-9
Height: 90cm
Diameter: 45cm
Root System: thick corm with many lateral roots
Growth Rate: moderate to slow
Age: perennial
Deciduous: yes
Monoecious/dioecious: may be entirely male, entirely female, or hermaphroditic inflorescences (depends upon energy reserves, all male when younger becoming hermaphroditic to rarely solely female for large, healthy individuals)
Monocot/dicot: monocot

Tolerates: heavy shade, wet soil, browsing by deer
Problems (major): few insect/disease problems
Problems (minor): rusts, fungal spots, sun scorch
Poisonous: Calcium oxalate crystals primarily in the roots but present in every portion of the plant. These are toxic enough to cause vomiting, kidney damage, and gastrointestinal distress if consumed.

Soil requirements: prefers humusy, moist to wet, well-drained soils
Air requirements: not particularly susceptible to air pollutants
Watering requirement: moderate to high, in moist woodlands
Sun requirement: partial sun to partial shade to full shade
Leaf: single per plant, compound, long petiole curling in opposite directions at maximum height, 7-15 lanceolate leaflets
Flower structure: green spathe very narrow, yellow spadix coming to a tip, erect, near shoot, flowers small and white, 15cm long
Flowering frequency: April-June, begins 2 or 3 years after germination
Fruit type: berry, orange-red, occurring in late summer (August-September)
Fruit dispersal: birds, small mammals
Subterranean storage organ: corm
Notable characteristics:
Unusually, these have only one leaf at a time.

These are uncommon woodland plants in moist, shaded areas.

Sources used:

Leaflet pattern


All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.


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