The flowers of Dracontium
are arranged spirally on the spadix. Each consists of a perianth, a single
pistil, and 4-19 stamens (
Fig. 60 ). The perianth consists of four to eight fornicate tepals dilated
toward the apex (
Fig. 61 ), and enveloping the pistil and stamens at anthesis. The apices
of the tepals are greenish to purplish and covered with yellowish raphid cells.
The lower portion of each tepal is often transparent white to light brown,
sometimes with red or reddish purple dots.
Stamens. The stamens of Dracontium
range from 4 to 19 in number. The filaments are enlongate often slightly dilated,
subcompressed and abruptly contracted at the apex into the connective (
Fig. 69 ). The anthers are much longer than the connective and linear-elliptic
in shape. They are often yellow, turning reddish brown, sometimes with dark
purple especially near the aperture after anthesis. The anthers are usually
hidden before anthesis (
Fig. 70 ) and dehisce apically by a vertical slit with a more or less
rounded aperture at anthesis (
Fig. 71 ). Pollen emerges from these aperture in a strand that reaches
the stigma, and is as long as or longer than style (
Fig. 72-73 ). The function of these pollen strands is discussed in the
chapter on reproductive biology.
Pistils. The ovaries in Dracontium
are ovoid (
Fig. 66 ), pale green, and incompletely 2- to 5-loculed (
Fig. 67-68 ), with axile or basal placentation. The ovules are solitary
in the locules and amphitropous or campylotropous. The style is 0.5-5 mm long
above the tepals at anthesis (
Fig. 62-63 ). It is dark purple to pale-green, and persistent or caducous.
The stigmas are unlobed or 2-4-lobed, usually covered with a transparent sticky
liquid at anthesis but drying out afterward (
Fig. 64-65 ).