In my "old" books, Sauromatum Guttatum
is referred to as "Monarch of the East" only (eg. in the Sanders Encyclopedia of Gardening 1964). I can find the term Voodoo Lily being used in books in the 1980s (I don't have any between these dates) for Sauromatum
, but not for anything else. Using it to encompass all large-flowered smelly, dark coloured aroids seems to be a compartively new thing (last 10-20 years or so), and to come from the US. Dracunculus
has always been known as "Dragon Arum" as far as I know, and "voodoo lily" applied to this is still not the norm (though is being done more and more).
The derivtaion of "voodoo lily" comes from the practice in the 1970s (at least) of buying the bulb of Sauromatum
and placing it dry on a saucer, and letting it flower out of the soil. Sort of "magical" and like a dead thing coming to life. A kind of marketing gimmick. I think this originated in Europe.
This would only really apply to Sauromatum
: mature Amorphophallus konjac
bulbs are really rather too large and expensive to have as a novelty houseplant in this way, and were certainly never found in garden centres 20-30 years ago - I remember seeing great boxes full of Sauromatum
corms though for a couple of pounds each in the 1980s; and I do not think that Dracunculus
can be flowered in this way - as it produces roots and leaves before
Edited by Rob-Rah, 02 November 2007 - 11:19 AM.