Back Garden Summer 2014

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First of all, thank you WordPress for the Annual Report. This time is very different and I love to see the firework display to represent each blog that I made in 2013.

From December to February is summer time in Australia. So far, here in Melbourne this summer has been very mild with only about four hot days above 35 deg. C. Today is sunny 20 deg. C.

I just trimmed some of the plants in the back yard; Diosmas (Coleonema pulchrum) and Murraya paniculata. So far we have had enough rainfalls to make plants grow green and luscious. The pink angel-wing/cane Begonia (Begonia coccinea) is flowering nicely.
Back Yard Jan. 2014

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Voodoo Lily – Smaller Cousin of Corpse Flower



 When we went to Nunawading Craft and Produce Market last summer (2010), I saw a plant that looked familiar. The only difference is the much smaller size than the ones that I used to see long time ago. I asked the seller what the name of the plant was, and she told me it was ’voodoo lily’.

This voodoo lily plant reminded me of corpse flower plant (Titan arum/Amorphophallus titanum) that used to grow wildly in our family property in Central Java, Indonesia when I was a child. To read my previous blog about this smelly flower, please click here: https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/corpse-flower/

Although the size is much smaller, this voodoo lily plant has very much the same in appearance as corpse flower plant, the soft green and grey mottled trunk (which is actually petiole/leaf stalk) and the unusually pretty foliage. Both corpse flower and voodoo lily varieties are from Arum family, so somehow they are related. I read that there are many varieties of voodoo lilies. Some have pretty pink colour, while others are greenish purple, spotted or dark red with long blackish spadix. As ours never flower so far, so I am not sure which one it is.

Anyway, I bought one pot that time in the market but until today it has never flowered.  I have since moved the plant into a bigger container and now it has started to grow from the long winter sleep. First it was a spike and I thought it was going to open as a flower, but later it was only leaves. Hopefully it has the same flowering habit as arum lily and it will bloom freely during the summer months.

As voodoo lilies also smelled a bit like rotting meat and attract many flies, make sure not to locate this plant near a doorway or windows. Choose a location as far as possible from the house.