A Dracontium species (D. pittieri) is in bloom at Selby Gardens. This is a New World counterpart to Amorphophallus; it’s name means “little dragon,” which refers to the reptilian-like markings on the petioles (leaf stalks). This plant smells very strong, similar to the Amorphophallus titanum, often called the stinky plant.
There are 23 species of Dracontium. They typically grow in the lowland to lower rainforests of Central America and northern South America. This species is endemic to the humid forests of southwestern Costa Rica, meaning that in nature, it grows nowhere else in the world. This particular plant was collected in the wild in Costa Rica in 2003, by Botanists Bruce Holst and John R. Clark, Ph.D., Director, Gesneriad Research Center.