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The two species of Dracunculus require rather different conditions. Dracunculus vulgaris responds very well to open ground cultivation, even in areas subjected to quite cold winters, while D. canariensis demands frost-free conditions. In unfavourable localities D. canariensis is required to be grown in large pots to allow the development of the numerous long stolons. In the open ground D. canariensis can become something of a weed as not only do the stolons spread a considerable distance, each giving rise to a new tuber, but in cultivation plants habitually set fruit and viable seed that germinates readily. In favourable conditions seedlings reach flowering size in two or three growing seasons and the process continues.

Species List

  • Dracunculus canariensis Kunth. Canary Islands & Madeira.
  • Dracunculus vulgaris Schott. South central Europe & west to southwest Turkey.
Dracunculus vulgaris Schott. Spotted leaf form. Photo by Frederic Depalle.
Dracunculus canariensis Kunth. Photo by David Scherberich.