Garden Photo of the Day

Carol’s voodoo lily in Georgia

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Binns

Today’s photos are from Carol Binns in Smyrna, Georgia. Carol says, “These are photos of my voodoo lily. It is of the genus Amorphophallus and in the Arum family, but I am not sure of the species. When I moved several years ago, I dug up and brought some of the bulbs with me. I left some to be a stinky suprise for the new owners of my house. By the way, that is my cat, Penny, in the picture. She doesn’t seem to mind the smell.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Binns

Ha!! I wonder what the new owners thought of both the smell and the look of your garden-warming gifts! So funny, Carol. Voodoo lilies are fascinating. Thanks for sharing yours.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Binns

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  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/19/2012

    Very sculptural. I bet it is a great combination with your hostas when it is in leaf as well.

  2. wGardens 12/19/2012

    Interesting- and has a nice color contrast. (Pretty kitty, too-) Our brief glimpse of your garden begs for more... looks wonderful!

  3. plant_lady_55 12/19/2012

    I love the voodoo lily, Carol. I wonder if it would grow in Michigan. I am going to have to look it up. I agree with wGardens -- we want to see more. Your garden is lovely!!! Want to see Penny's face, too.

  4. wittyone 12/19/2012

    That is some plant! How tall is it?

    plant lady: I do know that voodoo lilies grow in southern Indiana so growing them in your area may be a possibility. I've never grown them but know a member of our plant exchange group who has. He was quite fascinated by them. Maybe it's a guy thing?

  5. tractor1 12/19/2012

    Strange indeed.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/19/2012

    You sent me off on a google search to find out more about the dark mysterious stranger...definitely sounds like an interesting plant although I'm not sure how I feel about it as a candidate for my garden. However, it does look like like a formidable sentry as it stands guard on the approach to your delightful pergola. I agree that we need to see more pictures of your lovely garden. The clematis scampering up the birdhouse pole is beautiful.

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/19/2012

    Plant Delights nursery has a large selection of tropical amorphophallus and a couple of marginally hardy ones. Amorphophallus konjac is listed as hardy to zone 6; maybe not hardy enough for Michigan. When I was a kid, I grew one in a pot in zone 4, but you definitely would NOT want one blooming in your house.
    Wittyone: your screen name is aptly chosen! My wife would agree with your suspicion of certain male predilections.

  8. pattyspencer 12/19/2012

    Love the pics of your garden and Penny is a very pretty kitty! You've tempted us with just your 3 pics - want/need more. I love that you left the new owners this surprise - don't know how long it's been since you've left so I'm wondering if they've been surprised yet or if it's still a part of the garden.

  9. cwheat000 12/19/2012

    It looks like it might be Amorphophallus riverii a.k.a Amorphophallus Konjac. This variety is surprisingly an Asian food crop. The giant corms are ground up into a powder. It basically creates a food product that is all soluble fiber and no calories or carbs. Carageenan jelly candies and shirataki noodles can be made from it. It has also been used in vegetarian foods as a meat substitute. It is also found in the health food supplement Glucomannan. Initial studies in the west have shown Glucomannan may help with weight loss and reducing both glucose and cholesterol levels. Who would of thought? It looks a little too creepy to eat and I would verify it is that variety, but kinda cool, huh? As a garden plant, it is also kind cool. It is definitely a conversation starter. I have seen them in catalogs before, but never the garden. I was not aware how tall they get. The near black color is a great contrast. Hardy to zone 6? Check out this plant's relative Amorphophallus titanum.

  10. greenthumblonde 12/19/2012

    That is a really cool plant. And thanks for the info cwheat000. And to the parents and lovely people of Newtown you have my heavy hearted condolences.

  11. SilkPurseGarden 12/19/2012

    Awesome plant! Have always wanted to do an Addams Family garden and this would be a prime candidate. I, too, would like to see more photos of your garden. I particularly love how you left open spaces of just mulch to showcase your plants and to create a more interesting composition. Very effective, and hard to do as it's so tempting to fill everywhere with plants - believe me, I know!

  12. Plant_Paradise 12/19/2012

    We grow quite a few Dracunculus vulgaris (voodoo lily, dragon arum) in our Zone 5 gardens (Caledon Ontario) and it has wintered over for four years. Exotic looking beauty. Always a showstopper.

  13. soilgoil 12/19/2012

    My first assignment as a Master Gardener volunteer about a dozen years ago was to identify a mysterious, stinky plant for new owners of a historic Victorian mansion. It was easy to do so even before visiting the garden, listening to the homeowner's vivid description on the phone. Since that time, I've seen several Voodoo Lilies thriving in gardens here in northern Washington State. They're an interesting botanical oddity, and yes, would be perfect in an Addams Family-themed garden!

  14. hummergirl 12/19/2012

    Wow - I haven't seen a voodoo lily before, but now have to have one!! So I found one on ebay and ordered it. Very interesting! And Carol, I agree with the others, we need to see more pictures. Your seating area is one I'd love to walk up to and sit a spell!
    Also if you could follow up on your old house's occupants and how they like the voodoo lily you left them! We would love to know!

  15. joycedaffodilhill 12/19/2012

    Amazing. Reminds me of a corpse lily. Odor is probably similiar. Love your garden, send us more pictures. Cat remarkable that she hangs near the lily.

  16. LimaTigerGirl 12/19/2012

    I bought this plant at an estate auction at least five years ago. It has been growing in the same big pot it came it. It spends every winter in my basement. Imagine my surprise when these two tall stalks started growing up in late winter. Unfortunately, it was too cold to put it outside. Boy, did it stink! Especially, since we brought it up to the kitchen so we could see it every day. It finally went outside after several weeks inside. Eventually, the flower stalks died back and the plant sent up its usual beautiful foliage. Back in the basement now. I don't expect it to bloom again for several years.

  17. NevadaSue 12/20/2012

    Carol, I have a friend in Washington state that grows a Voodoo plant. They are very interesting. I love your bird feeder with the clematis growing on it....and the wooden chairs. We do need to see more of your garden.

  18. trashywoman62 12/20/2012

    I missed this post yesterday but wanted to share this story with those of you interested in the unusual voodoo lilies. A couple of years ago a variety bloomed at the greenhouse at the University of Illinois. They had a webcam on it, which you can see if you click on the greenhouse link in the article. I cannot image the smell of this one, notice size of lily behind woman in picture! I had one in a pot that was about 12" tall and it was bad!


  19. cwheat000 12/21/2012

    Very interesting! Thank you for the link trashywoman62.

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