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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Green Dragon is an attractive foliage plant for shady places and the unusual flowers are interesting as well. This species resembles Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit) somewhat, but the latter has only 3 leaflets per compound leaf. There are also differences in the structure of their flowers
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This native perennial plant is 1½–2½' tall. It consists of a single basal leaf and single flowering stalk. The basal leaf has a long stout petiole that is up to 2' long and erect. This petiole is pale green, glabrous, and glaucous. The basal leaf is up to 2½' long and 2' across; it divides into 5-13 leaflets that are parallel with the ground. Each leaflet is up to 8" long and 2½" across, narrowly ovate, smooth along the margins, glabrous, and dark green. The 2 terminal leaflets may be deeply cleft into 2 or 3 lobes that resemble smaller leaflets. The naked flowering stalk is about ½–1' tall (not including the flower); it is whitish green, unbranched, erect, and hairless. At the apex of this stalk is a single flower that consists of a spathe and spadix. The spathe is about 2" long, pale green, glabrous, and glaucous. This spathe wraps around the base of the spadix, but it is partially open and pointed at the top. The spadix is about 6-12" long. The lower portion of the spadix is about 2" long and nearly surrounded by the spathe; it is cylindrical in shape and bears the male and/or female flowers. Most plants are monoecious with separate male and female flowers, but sometimes they are unisexual. The male flowers occur above the female flowers; they are both rather small and inconspicuous. The upper portion of the spadix is about 4-10" long and tapers gradually to a point. It is usually whitish green and remains more or less erect. The blooming period occurs during late spring and early summer and the flowers remain attractive for about a month. They may release a fungus-like scent that is not detectable by the human nose. Each flower is replaced by an ovoid mass of berries, which become orange-red by the end of the summer. The root system consists of a corm with secondary roots. This plant can spread by forming offsets or by reseeding itself.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Green Dragon occurs occasionally throughout most of Illinois, although it is uncommon or absent in the NW area of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist deciduous woodlands, shady seeps, and wooded areas adjacent to springs and vernal pools. The presence of this species is an indication that the original woodland flora is still intact. Green Dragon often occurs in the same habitats as the closely related Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit), but the latter species is the more common of the two. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.; e Mexico.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants 1.5--9 dm. Roots radiating from apex of corm; corm to 8 cm diam. Leaves usually solitary; petiole medium green or purple-marked; blade pedately divided, leaflets (5--)7--13(--21), sessile or petiolulate, elliptic to oblanceolate, to 28 ´ 10 cm, apex acute to acuminate; central leaflet usually shorter than neighboring ones, these leaflets longest, outer progressively smaller. Inflorescences: s Spathe light green, sometimes marked with purple, convolute, 3--6(--12) cm; blade usually scarcely distinguished from tube; . sSpadix 6--20 cm (or longer), longer than spathe, apex tapering in long slender appendage to 15 cm. Staminate flowers with 2--4 stamens. Fruits oblong or pear-shaped, 7--13 mm. Seeds 1--2(--6), 3--5 mm diam. 2n = 28, 56.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Arum dracontium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 964. 1753; Muricauda dracontium (Linnaeus) Small
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Green Dragon occurs occasionally throughout most of Illinois, although it is uncommon or absent in the NW area of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist deciduous woodlands, shady seeps, and wooded areas adjacent to springs and vernal pools. The presence of this species is an indication that the original woodland flora is still intact. Green Dragon often occurs in the same habitats as the closely related Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit), but the latter species is the more common of the two. Faunal Associations
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Mesic to wet deciduous woods, thickets, and bottoms; 30--1200m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late winter (southern part of range)--late spring.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Arisaema dracontium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring and light shade during the summer. The soil should be moist and loamy with a layer of decaying leaves. This plant adapts to shady areas underneath trees and doesn't like to dry out. It has few problems with disease and insect pests.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Wikipedia

Arisaema dracontium

Arisaema dracontium (Dragon-root, Green dragon) is a herbaceous perennial plant in the genus Arisaema and the family Araceae. It is native to North America from Quebec to Minnesota South to Florida and Texas, where it is found growing in damp woods.[1] Plants grow 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in) tall when in bloom and after flowering reach 100 centimetres (39 in), they grow from a corm.[2] Normally a single leaf is produced with long petioles, the leaf is composed of 7 to 13 leaflets with the center leaflet the largest and leaflets becoming smaller as they are produced on the outside surface, the leaflets are held out horizontally over the plant. During flowering in spring a single, slender, green spathe 3–6 centimetres (1.2–2.4 in) long is produced that covers a tapering, long thin spadix. The tall like spadix grows out around the top of the spathe. After flowering, up to 150 berries are produced in a club shaped column. In late summer the green berries turn orange-red, each berry produces 1 to 3 seeds.[3] It is listed as a vulnerable species in Canada.

Classification[edit]

Within the genus Arisaema, A. dracontium is classified in the section Tortuosa and is most closely related to the Mexican A. macrophyllum. In fact, A. macrophyllum has sometimes been considered a subspecies of A. dracontium. The rest of the section contains species from east Asia and India. A. dracontium is not a close relative to the other American Arisaema species, A. triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit), which is in a different section of Arisaema.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arisaema dracontium (Linnaeus) Schott". Flora of North America. 
  2. ^ New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, p. 367. LCCN 63-16478
  3. ^ Yang et al.; Lovett-Doust, J; Lovett-Doust, L (1999). "Seed germination patterns in green dragon (Arisaema dracontium, Araceae)". American Journal of Botany (Botanical Society of America) 86 (8): 1160. doi:10.2307/2656980. JSTOR 2656980. PMID 10449396. 
  4. ^ Renner, S. S.; Zhang, L.-B.; Murata, J. (2004). "A chloroplast phylogeny of Arisaema (Araceae) illustrates Tertiary floristic links between Asia, North America, and East Africa". American Journal of Botany 91 (6): 881. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.6.881. 


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Notes

Comments

Reports of Arisaema dracontium occurring in New Hampshire and Rhode Island have not been substantiated by specimens. The species has also been reported from Nuevo León and Veracruz, Mexico (E. Matuda 1954); more study is needed to determine if these plants are conspecific. Specimens with a wider spathe blade than is typical in A. dracontium have been collected in Florida and Georgia, and these forms may represent intermediates between A. dracontium and the Mexican species A. macrospathum Bentham, which has an expanded spathe blade. D. G. Huttleston (1953) treated A. macrospathum as a subspecies of A. dracontium in his dissertation, but this change in taxonomic status was never formally published.
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