Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Arisaema dracontium (L.) Schott
- Family: Aroid (Araceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished from all others by the single leaf divided into 5-15
leaflets and the long, slender, yellow "tail" of the flower cluster that is exserted from the spathe.
- Habitat: Rich, damp, shaded woods; thickets; swales.
- Habit: Herb with an underground corm and no aerial stem.
- Stems: Underground, thickened, giving rise to a leafless flower stalk and a single, compound
- Leaves: Single, arising from an underground. stem, divided into 5-15 leaflets; each leaflet
obovate or oblong, often asymmetrical, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, usually without
teeth, smooth, up to 10 inches long, up to 4 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately on a thickened stalk (spadix) which tapers
to a long, slender, yellow "tail," the flowers of the base of the spadix surrounded by a green spathe.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 4, very tiny.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, 1-parted.
- Fruits: Berries crowded into a dense cluster, red; each berry shiny, about 1/6 inch in diameter.
- Notes: The corm, which is starchy, can be dried and ground and used as flour.
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