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  Dracunculus vulgaris jello
From: Steve Marak <samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 1998.05.15 at 14:01:51(2141)
On Tue, 12 May 1998, Lester Kallus wrote:

> Today, the stalk had fallen over and where it attached to the tuber appears
> to have rotted; the area had a sour smell and felt mushy. The rest of the
> tuber was quite solid and roots were still white.

Les and Judy,

I haven't seen your plants, of course, but for my own - of which there are
now a goodly number - I've accepted this as normal behavior (for the
tuber, at least; seems early for the leaves to be going down).

I've dug these for friends several times, and if I dig at the wrong time I
invariably find a rotting tuber (or corm or whatever). Usually there is a
new and larger healthy tuber adjacent to it. Dig later, and I find only
the healthy tubers (this is long after the leaves have gone down). I've
assumed that each year the plant makes a new tuber for the following year,
discarding the old one, but of course I haven't really studied this.

I've found few problems with this plant - very tolerant of neglect,
doesn't seem to get diseases or be bothered by pests much. In fact, my
biggest problem is figuring out when is the best time to dig them up - I
seem to always be early or late. Consequently, they get crowded, don't
flower or set seed as well, and I have trouble finding them to give
friends. Other than that, I pretty much neglect them.

Oh yes, the one other thing I'd do differently is move them from all day
full sun to half or three-quarters day full sun. Or maybe just kill all
the grass and weeds around them so the soil doesn't dry so very quickly in
mid-summer.

Steve

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