Sauromatum venosum… Learning Curve

Sauromatum venosum (Voodoo Lily) tubers on 6-27-21, #805-12.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I have been wanting a Dracunculus vulgaris for a while but when I was looking on Ebay, the listings for the tubers were a bit pricy. I did find some inexpensive Sauromatum venosum which have similar leaves. I bought a Dracunculus vulgaris tuber in 2009 or 2010 when I lived in Mississippi, which I think was really a Sauromatum vulgaris. Unfortunately, I forgot about it and left it behind when I moved back here in 2013. Well, it was dormant at the time and just slipped my mind. I had so many plants and other things to give away and decide what to bring with me.

So, I found this listing on Ebay that said, “Sauromatum venosum HYBRID Indian GiantxNormal Voodoo Lily Amorphophallus Rare”… I looked at the many photos he had uploaded and read his description. Apparently, the guy has A LOT of them including the cultivar called ‘Indian Giant’. He had quite a few tubers that hadn’t broken dormancy so he decided to list them on Ebay. He had crossed his normal Sauromatum venosum with the ‘Indian Giant’ and he said you couldn’t get them anywhere else. I am not sure why he crossed them in the first place unless he was just experimenting. Kind of like me cross-pollinating the two Schlumbergera truncata. I wanted to see what would happen. 🙂 Anyway, by the time I saw the listing, the larger tubers were all gone and he said he would send me four smaller ones for the same price. I was very fortunate to get them in the first place. The cultivar ‘Indian Giant’ has larger leaves, up to 40 or so ” across, and has different spots than the normal Sauromatum venosum on their petioles.

The tubers arrived on June 26 and were quite interesting… They were a bit different than the Amorphophallus tubers I am used to seeing. For one thing, I couldn’t tell the top from the bottom. Amorphophallus tubers have a small dip in the top, but these didn’t have that feature. After looking them over a bit, I decided what I thought was the top and bottom and planted them… I could have very well not planted them until I saw signs of life. They will sprout without soil like the Amorphophallus, but I had never tried it with them either

I started checking to see if they had sprouted after a week by sticking my finger through the soil to the top of the tuber. Then I saw something weird on July 15…

Sauromatum venosum (Voodoo Lily) on 7-15-21, #812-3.

HMMMM… Two of the tubers had sprouted but the petiole was NOT in the center of the pot. I had for sure planted the tubers upsidedown… GEEZ!!!

Sauromatum venosum (Voodoo Lily) on 7-15-21, #812-4.

Now what? I screwed up for sure…

Sauromatum venosum (Voodoo Lily) on 7-15-21, #812-5.

I removed one of the tubers from the pot and was kind of surprised to see roots. The Amorphophallus, so I read, do not produce roots until the leaf starts to emerge from the petiole. I think I will experiment in 2022 and leave a tuber on the shelf and see what happens.

Sauromatum venosum (Voodoo Lily) on 7-15-21, #812-6.

Yep, I screwed up. This is definitely a learning curve! I turned the other two tubers over that haven’t sprouted but I will definitely keep an eye on them… I left the two that already sprouted upsidedown… GEEZ!

The genus Sauromatum is a member of the plant Araceae and hails from tropical Africa, Tropical Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula. According to the Pacific Bulb Society, Sauromatum venosum is a native of the Himalayas and southern India. Common names include at least Voodoo Lily and Monarch of the East. At one point, all species of Sauromatum were moved to the genus Typhonium but DNA analysis proved otherwise. Plants of the World Online lists 10 species in the Sauromatum genus and Sauromatum venosum has 29 synonyms.

The plant listed as Dracunculus vulgaris in Mississippi on April 15 in 2012.

The above photo was taken of the assumed Dracunculus vulgaris when I was living at the mansion in Mississippi. I now believe it was probably a Sauromatum vulgaris because its leaves were solid green while I think Dracunculus vulgaris leaves have whitish markings. The yellow spots on the leaves is pollen from the Ligustrum tree.

Amorphophallus sp. at 32″ tall on July 15, 2021.

The two older Amorphophallus are doing great and have grown to 32″ tall so far. I am still shocked their tubers were still fairly small when I dug them up to put them in their own pots this spring. Heck,  I have had them since 2017 and the tubers were still a little less than 2″ in diameter! I am getting tired of calling these plants Amorphophallus sp. because they need a proper name. I am almost certain they are likely Amorphophallus konjac and I am not really sure what waiting for flowers would prove. I am certainly not an aroid expert.

Amorphophallus sp. on 7-15-21, #812-2.

The seven kids are doing great and are 17″ tall. I will take these to Wagler’s Greenhouse soon… Maybe she has something else I can bring home. I need to pot some of the Aloe maculata pus for her as well. I think she said she wanted more Bilbergera nutans, so I might just take her one of the three pots so she can divide them herself. That is a real challenge! She still has one of several pots I took to her a few years ago but it isn’t for sale. She keeps putting it in a larger pot like I did for many years, and it became a HUGE packed mess. We have traded a lot of plants. 🙂

Well, I will close this post and move on to the next. We received another inch of rain over the past couple of days which helps, but I had work to do in the garden. I also need to go check on the Pale Indian Plantain in the south hayfield… I want to see if the flowers have opened. Rain was in the forecast for the next several days, but that has changed somewhat to just a 20% chance. We shall see what happens. 🙂

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Always be thankful and GET DIRTY!




4 comments on “Sauromatum venosum… Learning Curve

  1. tonytomeo says:

    What?! My Dracunculus vulgaris look just like yours (I think). That means that if yours are Sauromatum vulgaris, then mine are also?! Well, I am not set on any particular species or cultivar. They are fun anyway, regardless of their name. I did not pick them out. They just appeared in one of the landscapes here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! There are a lot of photos online of Dracunculus vulgaris online without the white markings on the leaves. I am pretty certain, although not 100% they are supposed to have the markings. I messaged a seller on Ebay about his Drancunculus because he only had photos of the flowers. He said his leaves were solid green, so he could have been misinformed when he bought his. That’s the way it goes… People buy plants that aren’t really what they are told and then they pass the misinformation on. I agree they are fun plants to grow and their leaves are AWESOME. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marty Thomas says:

    I have what I think is amorphophallus growing from a plant dug from an abandoned property in 2007. I’ve tried to identify it from online photos, and it looks like your plants. This summer (2021), with the increase in temperature, it doubled in size and the above-ground growth remained approx 4 weeks longer than previously. Note: Not knowing anything about the odiferous flower, I planted it under my bedroom window—not recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Marty! The leaf of the Amorphophallus is different than the other “stinky-flowered” species. I think my Amorphophallus are probably A. konjac. I have been waiting for several years for it to bloom… I have to keep mine in pots (which are on the front porch). Some people say they don’t notice the smell that much but I can’t say from experience. Looking forward to it, though. 🙂 I am glad you rescued the plant from the abandoned property. Please keep me posted on its progress. You can send photos to me at Take care and thanks for the comment!


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