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  Momma aroid
From: "Karin" <karin.h.h at btinternet.com> on 2007.04.15 at 06:12:46(15571)

Please take a look at this page - the pictures are
large and may take a little while to load.


This is the Dracunculus vulgaris I grew some little ones from, using
information Nancy in Tennessee gave me last fall. I have about a dozen babies
(each a single leaf) which look healthy. There are also a lot of healthy
looking sprouts without leaves.

The momma plant resides in some bushes in a grocery
store's parking lot. It's by the recycling bins. It must have been part of
a Victorian cottage garden as I've found some very simple irises there, too, in
the bushes. I imagine it's been noticed by other gardeners, but I've
gotten permission to remove it.

Ideally, when would be the best time of the year to
dig it up?

And what can I expect to find under the soil? How
deep is the bulb, and how wide? Will there be a tap root?

I've never cared for an aroid before, but this
darlin' needs a better home, and I really want to give it one here. I'd appreciate any advice---my current plan, now that I've
finally acquired a shovel, is to get up early after we finally get an
evening of spring rain and go dig it up, carefully. It's already got
about 2 feet of top growth.

Thank you for any responses,

Karin in London

From: "D. Christopher Rogers" <crogers at ecoanalysts.com> on 2007.04.16 at 09:43:09(15575)

Dracunculus can be dug up right after the plant goes dormant. Wait for the
above ground portion to die and fall over. It must have fallen over. Then if
you can pull the dead portion off with a gentle tug, the tuber will be ready to
dig up. And that is the answer to your other question: it has a large
subspherical tuber, not a taproot. Upon exhuming your tuber, you will want to
take it home and clean it up. Remove any left over roots and dead bits, being
especially careful not to damage the apical meristem (the bit from which the
new foliage will arise). The plant can then be stored dry and dormant until the
next autumn.

Good luck!


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