Arisaema dracontium (L.) Schott
Green dragon, Dragonroot, Greendragon
Araceae (Arum Family)
Synonym(s): Muricauda dracontium
USDA Symbol: ARDR3
Green Dragon has only 1 leaf; however, the leaf stem forks so that there appear to be 2 separate leaves, each divided into 5–15 unequal leaflets which are arranged palmately (like the upturned palm of one’s hand) on the tip of the forked stem, which is sometimes 20 inches long. A separate flower stalk hold the perennial’s unique blossom. 1 greenish, long-tipped spadix (the dragon’s tongue) protruding several inches beyond a narrow green spathe. It is a narrow, greenish, hooded, cylinder with a long, upward-pointing tongue. There are numerous tiny flowers crowded onto the 6-inch-long flower stem, the lower part of which is enclosed within the leaf stem. The white flowers are very small, with no petals or sepals. Orange-red berries follow.
The long tapered tip of the spadix resembles a large flickering lizards tongue. (Lamb/Rhynard) Green Dragon is considered relatively rare.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit: Green, Red, Orange
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Ontario and Quebec south through New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Nebraska and Minnesota. Also in eastern Mexico from Nuevo Leon to Veracruz.
Native Habitat: Woodland, Riparian
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Rich, slightly acid, soil.
Conditions Comments: Greendragon was once a medicinal and ritual plant of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin. The root was used in sacred bundles to encourage second sight in dreams. The calcium oxalate raphides in its tissues disrupt cells and cause an extreme burning sensation.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds and mammals eat the berries.
Use Food: The swollen, underground stem of this plant, like that of its relative Jack-in-the-pulpit (A. triphyllum), can cause severe burning and irritation in the mouth if ingested uncooked.
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Symptoms include irritation and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat. Toxic Principle - Calcium oxalate crystals and other toxins.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationDescription: Propagate by tuber division or seed. Divide tubers when the plant dies down in late summer. Seeds may be sown outside in late fall, 3/4 inch deep, or the following spring with or without cold treatment. Seeds should not be allowed to dry out. This species will not flower until the second or third year after germination.
Seed Collection: Collect fruits in fall (mid-August to early September) when the berries are red and remove the small brown seed from the pulp. Wear gloves as berry juice may irritate skin.
Seed Treatment: Stratify stored seeds by placing them in moist sphagmun moss and refrigerating 60 days before planting.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Plant identification, green and tube-like
September 18, 2008
LOOKING FOR NAME OF A GREEN TUBE-LIKE PLANT (SHAPED LIKE A CALLA LILY). THE VEINS ARE VISIBLE. MAYBE IN CLUSTER
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Amandas Garden - Springwater, NY
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1262 - Plants of Carolinian Canada (1994) Lamb, Larry and Gail Rhynard
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Arisaema dracontium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Arisaema dracontium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Arisaema dracontium
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: NPC