GREEN DRAGON
File Size: 126 KB
 
Arisaema dracontium   (L. ) Schott
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6-36 inches
Family: Araceae - Arum Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Also Called: Dragon root.
Stems: Leaves and inflorescence stalk arising from corm, erect.
Leaves: Usually solitary, compound with 5-15 leaflets; stalk at flowering 8 to 20 inches long, later to 36 inches, green or purplish; leaflets elliptic to nearly lanceolate, 2.8 to 11.2 inches long, .8 to 4 inches wide, central leaflet often shorter than neighbors; tips pointed; gradually tapering to narrow base; primary veins parallel from mid-rib to margins.
Inflorescences: Spadix, 2.4 to 8 inches long, long-tapering to slender point, extending beyond enclosing spathe; spathe slender, tubular, 1.2 to 4.8 inches long, .6 to .8 inch wide, green, with bend near middle.
Flowers: Tiny, crowded on central axis of spadix; staminate flowers above pistillate flowers; staminate flowers with 2-4 stamens.
Fruits: Dense clusters of berries; berries fleshy, oblong or pear-shaped, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, bright red; seeds 1-6, 1/8 to 1/5 inch in diameter. Fruits ripen in October.
Habitat: Moist deciduous woods, bases of ravines, bottomland woods, moist wooded slopes.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Toxicity: The plant contains microscopic calcium oxalate crystals. When consumed fresh, the corms cause intense burning of the mouth and throat.
Uses: Native Americans dried and ground the corms for food. There was a belief that corm bundles would bring supernatural dreams.
Comments: Latin dracontium "of a dragon" alludes to the tail-like spadix.

Green dragon spath and spadix
70 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon leaves
139 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon fruit
139 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon fruit
57 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon fruit
70 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon spathe and spadix
25 KB
Marshall County, Kansas
Green dragon habit
144 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Green dragon leaves
125 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Green dragon fruit
66 KB
Morris County, Kansas
Green dragon fruit
148 KB
Morris County, Kansas