Dracunculus Mill.
  • Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4 (1754) 

Notes: Distribution: Macaronesia to SW. Turkey

General Description

HABIT : large seasonally dormant herbs, tuber subglobose, stoloniferous as well in D. canariensis. LEAVES : few. PETIOLE : sheath very long, spotted or not, tightly convolute around peduncle forming substantial erect pseudostem. BLADE : deeply pedatifid; primary lateral veins of each lobe pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : solitary, appearing with leaves. PEDUNCLE : shorter than petiole. SPATHE : marcescent, constricted, tube with convolute margins, erect, thick-walled, oblong-ellipsoid, shorter than blade, blade ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, expanded, deep purple or white, eventually bent backwards. SPADIX : subequal to spathe, female zone ± sessile, cylindric to conic, contiguous with male zone, male zone ellipsoid-cylindric, separated from appendix by a short zone of subulate staminodes, appendix long, long-stipitate, then elongate-conoid. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-4-androus, stamens quadrate, filaments distinct, connate at base, connective slender and prominulent, thecae shortly ellipsoid, dehiscing by apical pore. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid to spheroidal, medium-sized (mean 45 µm.), exine verrucate. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary ellipsoid, 1-locular, ovules few, orthotropous, placentae apical and basal, style shortly conic, stigma hemispheric. BERRY : obovoid, few-seeded, red-orange. SEED : globose-ovoid, testa rugose, embryo axile, short, endosperm copious.

Diagnostic Description

Seasonally dormant tuberous geophytes; petiole sheaths very long; leaf blade with reticulate fine venation; spadix with a long, smooth appendix, staminodes above male zone only weakly developed; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; gynoecium with apical and basal placentas. Differs from Helicodiceros in male zone of spadix contiguous with female zone, smooth spadix appendix and pedatifid leaf blades that are not spirally twisted upwards.


Temperate and warm temperate scrub, woodland, macchie, olive groves, chestnut forest; geophytes, under trees and shrubs.


Macaronesia, S. Europe to SW. Turkey.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Africa Macaronesia Canary Is.
  • Madeira
  • Northern Africa Algeria
  • Asia-Temperate Western Asia East Aegean Is.
  • Turkey
  • Europe Southeastern Europe Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Kriti
  • Sicilia
  • Yugoslavia
  • Southwestern Europe Corse
  • Sardegna
Introduced into
  • Europe Southwestern Europe France
  • Portugal


  • 1 Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 3 Gardens, K.""Royal Bot World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (2008).
  • 4 Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. The Genera of Araceae. (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 1997).

 Information From

CATE Araceae
Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 14 Dec 2011 . 17 Dec 2011.
  • A All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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