Plant DetailShow Menu

Plants that fill a similar niche:
Trillium erectum Flowers
Allium hollandicum Form
Trillium cuneatum Trillium cuneatum
Amorphophallus kiusianus has some common insect problems:
Root Mealybugs

Voodoo Plant Amorphophallus kiusianus

Previously known as:

  • Amorphophallus hirtus var. kiusianus
  • Amorphophallus konjac var. kiusianus
  • Amorphophallus konjac var. kiuslanus Makino
  • Amorphophallus sinensis Belval
Phonetic Spelling
a-mor-fo-FAL-us key-oo-see-AY-nus
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The 'Voodoo Lily' is one of the hardiest perennials of the Amorphophallus species. It is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan, found growing in semi-shaded to sun exposed plantations, secondary forests, mixed bamboo and broad-leaved forest, and orchards. Amorphophallus comes from the Greek word amorphos and phallos, meaning “malformed penis” referring to the shape of the prominent spadix.

Growing 'Voodoo Lily' is fairly easy. Plant the tuber in moist, organic, well-drained soil, approximately 4” deep in late winter or very early spring. Its tuber must be well below the soil surface, to support the long leaf and flower. It requires minimal fertilizer, once a month or less, and will tolerate occasional overwatering, and occasional neglect. The health of the plant is determined by the increase in the size of the tuber. If planted in a container, the container needs to be at least twice the diameter of the tuber, and very deep to support the tuber and root growth. If the container is not deep enough, the tuber will become deformed and lie in the excess water, causing rot. The tuber may be lifted during dormancy and stored dry.

Being self-fertile, the 'Voodoo Lily' produces offsets on the tuber that may be replanted. Seeds may be stored in semi-moist peat moss and kept at approximately 45 degrees F. Before sowing, rinse the outer flesh away with water. Keep the temperature in the mid-70’s and soil moist. Be patient, as seedlings may take 6 months or more to germinate.

The 'Voodoo Lily' emerges in spring with a single dirty olive-green and whitish speckled flower stalk, producing a green and white speckled vase-shaped, or calla-like flower, called a spathe, that surrounds a purple tipped spear-shaped spadix. Inside the spathe, are warts that function as insect traps for pollination. After resting for a year, a single 4’ tall green and white speckled stem with a 3-foot wide shredded umbrella-shaped leaf with multiple leaflets emerges. The leaf may die back when the temperature rises to the high 70 degrees F. After the plant matures, its resting period may decrease to as little as a month, before producing the leaf.

Though they have both male and female flowers, 'Voodoo Lilies' can not self-pollinate. It is only able to pollinate on a single day, announced by a scent sometimes described as “decaying flesh” or “roadkill” that attracts its pollinators. Once trapped inside, the insects pollinate the female flowers, and the next day are covered with pollen from the male flowers and released to go on their way to pollinate others. The pollinated flowers then develop densely clustered colorful fruit that ripens from bright pink to blue.

The species Amorphophallus titanum, is the world's largest unbranched inflorescence, with a height of up to 8'2" and a width of 4'9".  In September 2015 a 4' tall flower opened at Chicago Botanical Gardens.  Thousands of visitors lined up to see and smell it, and its bloom was broadcast via live webcam.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Nematodes and root mealy bugs can affect the plant.  It is not appropriate for a houseplant.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#showy leaves#low maintenance#showy fruits#herbaceous#spadix#herbaceous perennial#odor#spring interest#pollinator plant#late spring flowers#early summer flowers#wet soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#malodorous#pollinators#foul odor
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#showy leaves#low maintenance#showy fruits#herbaceous#spadix#herbaceous perennial#odor#spring interest#pollinator plant#late spring flowers#early summer flowers#wet soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#malodorous#pollinators#foul odor
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amorphophallus
    Species:
    kiusianus
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan, Taiwan
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Amorphophallus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species. It is available to pollinators for only one when it blooms.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Pink
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Description:
    Interesting seed heads that change color from pinkish-red to blue-black.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    3-7", dark purple with white splotches spadix flower with black center in late spring to early summer. A single 6" tall vase shaped inflorescence, called a spathe, resembling a calla lily, is dirty olive green with small white speckles on the outside with a violet to reddish margin. The inside is a brownish pink, with larger white to light green speckles. A single purple-brown 8" spadix emerges from the center of the spathe, like a spear. Interesting and somewhat unpleasant fragrance.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    A single giant umbrella-type leaf that can be up to 3' wide is produced about a month after the plant flowers. The leaflets are narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, 2-7" long and 1-2" wide, and have a pale violet undulate margin.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The petiole is a prominate and interesting part of this plant. It is glossy, dirty olive-green with oval or irregular whitish spots, and many tiny dark green dots.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Malodorous
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Dogs
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Irritant to the mouth and esophagus.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals plus unknown toxins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems