Amorphophallus - Winter Hardy Voodoo Lilies for the Perennial Garden

Amorphophallus - Winter Hardy Voodoo Lilies for the Perennial Garden

By Published May 21, 2016 Updated June 21, 2022

The genus Amorphophallus is one of several aroids that gardeners find fascinating. Like its woodland garden cousins Arisaema (jack in the pulpit) and dracunculus, Voodoo Lilies are weird bulb plants that produce a large oddly shaped leaf and calla-lily-like flower.

One member of this genus, Amorphophallus titanum, produces the largest inflorescence in the plant kingdom that tops out at over 8' tall. We occasionally sell this monstrous plant, but we find that our customers prefer the more cold hardy species such as the konjac plant. Amorphophallus flowers are famous for their malodorous nature, which attracts flies and repels people with sensitive noses. But they sure are pretty! The smell is produced in waves via a fascinating mechanism. The odoriferous compunds are volatile chemicals that evaporate easily when heated. Amorphophallus plants have the ability to increase respiration to a very high level for a couple of hours at a time. This increased respiration generates heat (almost 100 degrees F) which in turn volatilizes the odor causing compounds inside the flower and produces a wave of stinkiness. This process is called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is rare in plants and is poorly understood, but chemically, the process is not too dissimilar from the heat generation process in mammals. Cool!

Plant Delights Nursery has one of the best collections of Amorphophallus for sale in the United States so come check us out. If you are close enough, stop on buy our summer or fall open house so you can see our reference collection of rare Amorphophallus plants growing on the back patio and check out all of the common specimens growing in the garden too.

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

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