Even though we’re Asheville’s original holistic veterinarian, we also consider ourselves handy with the plant people, as well! The garden in front and to the side of our office is ever-changing with the seasons and with our new leafy additions. We feel blessed that despite its location in downtown Asheville, while cleaning up the winter debris and pruning back last year’s growth, we uncovered a Praying Mantis egg sac and two small, lightly speckled snakes.
The first plant out of the ground is always our Dracunculus vulgaris. This is how one greenhouse describes it ‘..hold your nose…cover your eyes…the dazzling Viagra Lily (aka: Dragon Arum) is ready to flower. This amorphophallus cousin from the Mediterranean is equally as bizarre, but much more winter-hardy. After cold weather ends, the 3′ stalk, clothed with only two three-pedate leaves, emerges from the giant bulb. In late May in NC, the stalk is topped with the 18″ flower. Picture a fleshy, purple, ruffled vase, from the center of which emerges a fleshy appendage resembling an upside-down purple carrot.’ Of course the stench attracts flies.
I suppose placing the Dracunculus next to the client parking lot was not the best idea. Fortunately, the flower only lasts a week, but it causes quite a stir.
Don’t live near Asheville? Schedule a Sunvet Check-in: long-distance holistic veterinarian advice.
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