Marion County Naturalist Marla Mertz presents an unusual plant native to most of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains. You can view Marla’s past contributions to Bleeding Heartland’s wildflowers series here. -promoted by Laura Belin
There be dragons out in our Iowa woodlands! Many of us who like to walk the woodland trails and explore are probably familiar with Jack-in-the-pulpits. Jack has a lesser-known cousin. The Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium) appears to be a tropical, exotic plant with its bloom hidden with surrounding foliage. This fragile plant has been known to be quite rare, but I feel that is changing within our landscape.
The first part of the scientific name comes from the Greek words aris, a kind of arum, and haema, meaning “blood”. Dracontium is from the Latin meaning “of the dragons,” probably because of the deeply divided leaves.
Green dragon is a native perennial herb and can be found throughout Iowa, except in the northwest. The plants grow in fertile, slightly acidic, and moist soil within shady woodland areas that are protected from livestock.
The photos enclosed below were taken at Cordova Park, on the north side of Lake Red Rock in Marion County along the Karr Trail.Continue Reading...