Amorphophallus rivieri – Voodoo Lily

by Kristina Sloggett

in Sunday Garden Series, yard & garden

Devil’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Konjac, or perhaps my favorite, Konnyaku Potato.

Last season, we only had a few of these, I think three. My first experience with these crazy plants, I loved their prehistoric look.

Doesn’t this make you think of Little Shop of Horrors:

This reminds me of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland:

Crazy looking plants, beautiful in blooms but they smell awful!

The above photos were taken in June 2010.

This is what was left in September:

I was weeding near that area of the yard today, and walked over there to see what’s going on with my Voodoos.

Is it possible that red orange yellow green pod is… seeds? Look what we have this year:

Look at all those stalks!

I swear this forest was not here last year! If it was I didn’t see it. Many of these look small, like they are new, so I’m not ruling it out.

Our neighbor up the street is a master gardener – I cannot wait to ask her about this!

Question to my gardener friends out there – are these plants known to multiply quickly like this? What else can you tell me about them?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Theresa @ActiveEggplant April 27, 2011 at 7:19 am

Makes me think of that big flower Mr. Wilson had in his garden on the Dennis the Menace movie – the one that only bloomed once a year (or maybe only one EVER) and Dennis’ antics made him miss it!

I’d kill for a nice garden – but I don’t have the time or patience to actually deal with one in the summer heat here in FL – everything gets SO weed infested we’d spend our entire weekend outside weeding!


2 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

ha – that’s awesome – I totally remember that! this is similar – it blooms once a year (if even) and the bloom only lasts a couple days.


3 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 27, 2011 at 7:26 am

That is beautiful…so strange it smells so bad! I saw a plant on The Today Show years ago that was said to smell like dead animal. So gross, but it was really fascinating to look at.


4 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I wonder was it this plant?? :) seriously, this smells like that, the first time we smelled it we were looking for a dead something in the yard, not thinking it was the plant! there is a cousin to this plant called the corpse flower, it is rare and it is HUGE – can be 10 feet and 100 pounds – and severely stinky! maybe that was the one that was on The Today Show – whenever one blooms people go crazy for it! 😀


5 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe April 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

OMG they’re taking over!


6 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I know!! crazy!


7 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 27, 2011 at 7:59 am

I know nothing about gardening, but those stalks are so pretty!


8 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

aren’t they fun? so tropical.


9 Lisa Fine April 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

Wow, those are beautiful. I like to garden, but know more about vegetables and herbs than I do about flowers.

I’m hoping to add some wildflowers to our garden this year, but need to do research to see what grows locally to avoid planting weeds.


10 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

I can’t wait to get started on my vegetable and herb garden – I missed it completely last year because the weather was so cold well into June, I felt like I was too late by the time the warmer weather came along. I missed having a garden so much! I love having a variety of blooms too, so pretty!


11 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty April 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

Wow… very strange, but SO beautiful!!! :)

I love the caterpillar one! So cool!


12 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 11:56 am

doesn’t it look like the caterpillar? :) I love it!


13 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

zomg, I know nothing about gardening or anything of the sort… but I can tell you that whatever you have there is beautiful! haha


14 spabettie April 27, 2011 at 11:56 am

isn’t it amazing? looks so tropical and out of place in our Oregon yard, but I LOVE it! 😀


15 Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Amorphophallus scares me! 😯

I’ve never seen those plants, so I can’t help you with this. All the things that grow like crazy in the garden over here are usually just eaten up 😀 (dandelion, goutweed, stinging nettle – they all go into a salad or are used for tea).


16 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

yes, I like nettle tea, and I’ve had dandelion greens in a salad once!!


17 katojo April 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm

This is pretty! I haven’t heard of this but I like your description of prehistoric and caterpillar! :)


18 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm

do you remember the caterpillar I’m talking about? doesn’t it look JUST like that? 😀


19 mitzi @ my nikon eats food April 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

wow those plants look so exotic! i unfortunately know NOTHING about plants and gardening!


20 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

aren’t they exotic and tropical? I love them!


21 Lisa April 28, 2011 at 3:31 am


Black thumb over here (I can handle low maintenance herbs and microgreens…but nothin’ fancy!).

Love the pics :)


22 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I am always in awe that I can keep any plants alive!!


23 Jen April 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

I don’t know a dang thing about plants, flowers or gardens, but those look so pretty!!!! They remind me of that crazy flower on the Dennis the Menace movie 😉


24 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

haa – YES !! poor Mr Wilson never got to see it bloom…


25 hihorosie April 28, 2011 at 10:47 am

Very cool! Love the colorful seeds if that’s what they are. ha ha! That it’s taken over your yard! The invasion has begun. 😉

Weird they stink. What’s going to happen when they all bloom at once?! You’ll be getting complaints…maybe visits from cops. ha!

This isn’t the same plant/flower that blooms once a year or how ever often that smells like death is it? I can’t remember what they’re called but I almost think this might be something different yet related. Not sure. Go ask your neighbor! I want to know now!


26 spabettie April 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

YES, it is!! or at least it is ONE of them… it really does smell awful – the first time Jason and I smelled it we were looking for a dead animal in our yard before we knew it was the plant!! (we’re out on a couple acres, not unlikely for critters to be about!). there is a BIG version of this called the Corpse Flower – the same plant, looks (and smells) the same, but they get HUGE! some have been 10 feet tall and 100 pounds (they have a thick “trunk”). crazy flowers!


27 Christin@purplebirdblog May 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

I love their unique look… seriously sci-fi-ish and creepily beautiful! :)


28 spabettie May 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

right? totally prehistoric and tropical. FEED ME, SEYMOUR!!


29 Heather @ kissmybroccoli May 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

I so thought of Little Shop of Horrors! Haha! That movie is a trip! Why don’t I own it?

Those are some faaaareeeeeeky looking plants my dear! But I have to say you have a way with your green thumb! Not me…soooo not me! :(


30 spabettie May 3, 2011 at 9:07 am



31 Matt November 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

this is beautiful!


32 Brandi November 25, 2011 at 12:50 am



33 Sondra K. November 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm

these photos should be in a contest. stunningly beautiful!


34 Kari December 31, 2011 at 1:13 am

so pretty and so creepy LOL


35 ziggy September 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

i had this plant 10 years ago, shocking experience. but lost it. any advise how or where i can buy it again ? thanks


36 spabettie September 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

hi Ziggy – I have no idea, ours was in our yard before we lived there, I think. I would ask a local nursery or plant store in your area, they could tell you? beautiful plants, right? but smelly! :)


37 Edwin Visser October 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

Nice pix, but this is not Amorphophallus, but Dracunculus vulgaris. Both have a nasty smell, but they look different. One positive about Dracunculus is that it is quite hardy whereas Amorphophallus is a tropical.


38 spabettie October 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

thanks for the info, good to know! I was wondering how a plant like this could even grow in Portland, in the Pacific Northwest.


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