Devil's Tongue


Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)

Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear) is a low-growing cactus with flattened green stems formed of segments. Barbed bristles are found…

Dragon Arum

Another perennially putrid plant is Dracunculus vulgaris. The dragon arum gets its name from the shape of its leaves, which resemble the claw of a dragon. In June, a maroon-purple spathe opens to reveal a nearly black tail-like spike known as a spadix. You can find this plant at the entrance to the English Woodland Garden, as well as the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening, and near the Temperate House. As for the smell, the Garden’s own Plant Finder resource offers this advice: “Avoid planting this perennial near windows, doors, sidewalks or other frequently populated areas where the brief but overpowering odor from the spadices will be found objectionable.”

More Ideas for Succulent Lovers

Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)

This trailing sedum with tiny succulent leaves and white flowers that bloom from April through June deserves a post of its own, because it’s such a great little plant for anyone?especially people who are into succulents. It’s a groundcover that likes part shade and damp, rocky areas, which would make it a really nice one for those of you with backyard ponds. We planted it on the roof of a bluebird house Tim made and chickadees call home, which is an idea we got on walk through Longwood Gardens’ meadow.

Adam’s needle (Yucca filamentosa)

This is another succulent that can be found in the Northeast, and is a good pick for Shore dwellers. Adam’s needle likes well-drained to dry, course sand. It has these bold spikes surrounding a cluster of white bell-shaped flowers that can reach up to 3 feet high. Cherokees used it to stun fish, making them easier to collect. In Spanish tradition, parents plant this yucca under a daughter’s window to keep?boys out with its sharp spiky leaves.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

While this one isn’t a true succulent, its glossy kidney-shaped leaves and bright, strong buttercup-like flowers might also?appeal to you. It does best in wet, rich soils so it’s a great addition to your rain garden or in the shallow water around a backyard pond. It’s a cheery spring bloomer worth planting if you’ve got the right conditions. (Note: There is an invasive plant called “ celandine ” that people often mistake for marsh marigold. It sounds negative, but if you think you already have marsh marigold, it’s probably the invasive.)

Northeast Native Ferns

If the aspects that draw you?to?succulents are their sense of mystery and low maintenance, ferns are another great pick. Ferns are green and wild and?delicate and ornate, and certain varieties in particular (Ostrich fern and hay-scented fern, for example) can spread quickly and beautifully. Imagine ferns?blanketing the ground of an otherwise dormant forest, or the unfurling of a fern’s frond’s in spring. They’re downright magical, and there are dozens of?native species to try. (Read this post on gardening in the shade for some fern ideas.)

Scoville heat units (SHU): 125,000 to 325,000
Jalapeño reference point: 16 to 130 times hotter
Origin: USA
Products and seeds: Devil’s Tongue on Amazon

There’s no hiding what to expect from Devil’s Tongue pepper – it’s all in the name. There’s mega-heat here that’s embodied in a twisted and folded habanero-like shape – like the misshaped tongue of the devil himself. The pepper’s extreme heat, fruity flavor, and vibrant hue make the Devil’s Tongue perfect for extreme-eating salsas and sauces.

What is Devil’s Tongue Red Lettuce?

Originally bred by Frank and Karen Morton at Wild Garden Seed, the lettuce variety known as “Devil’s Tongue” is actually made up of multiple lines of visually similar but genetically diverse lettuces, resulting in a variety that’s strong against disease and other problems.

Mature varieties are all but identical, the only distinguishing factor is seed color, with some coming in white and some in black. The Devil’s Tongue lettuce plant is named for its red color and long, ovular shape, both of which are unusual for Romaine varieties.

The plant forms loose heads of long, tapering leaves that begin a shade of bright green and quickly blush to a deep crimson that spread from the edges almost all the way to the heart of the plant. These heads usually grow to a height of six to seven inches (15-18 cm.).

Amorphophallus Species, Devil's Tongue, Snake Plant, Konjac, Konnyaku Potato, Voodoo Lily

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Amorphophallus (a-mor-fo-FAL-us) (Info)
Species: konjac (KON-jak) (Info)
Synonym:Amorphophallus mairei
Synonym:Amorphophallus nanus
Synonym:Amorphophallus rivierei


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 1, 2018, Josephine_SC from Clemson, SC wrote:

Handsome, sculptural, and exotic. The bloom is a gothic delight and the smell really isn’t that strong or long lasting. Ours are planted in bright shade and grow just a bit too well in our SC yard. We planted several large corms a couple of years ago and already need to remove pups. Now I know why it’s so readily found on eBay!

On May 19, 2013, pleas from Hamilton, OH wrote:

I have had these for over 50 years, I now have ten blomming and about 60 plants, see them on facebook pleas martin but they do smell bad. if anyone wants one please contact me at [email protected] I hope I am not overwhelmed by this offer.

On Aug 16, 2011, Anniesfollies from Carlsbad, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I purchased this two years ago, fascinated by its giant leaf. At that time it only had one large stalk but a month or so later 2 or 3 baby bulbs sent up small stalks. It completely died back to the ground in the fall, but having researched it I assumed correctly it would come up the following year. This spring I finally got a beautiful flower, but when it died back to the ground I thought it was a goner. However, a month or so later the baby bulbs starting sending up small stalks and there are now six. Six or eight weeks later the main bulb came up nice and tall, although its leaf is smaller this year which I assume is because it put so much energy into the bloom. I keep it amongst some ferns that hide it during the winter dormant period.

On Dec 27, 2010, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have one about to bloom from a baby bulb. Seeds should never be allowed to dry out, if that happens seed will die, keep them moist until you are ready to pot them up.

On Aug 21, 2010, natvlegl from Creighton, NE wrote:

I received 2 corms this spring, 1 very tiny and 1 about 2.5 in. across. Planted in Miracle Gro and both came up. I've had them outside here in NE. since after last front. But I now have some sort of problem with the littler one .. it is turning yellowish-lime instead of the beautiful dark lime they both were. In searching for answers as to what it could be, I looked first at temp and then water for soil conditions & was telling my husband that it must be that it wasn't getting enough water consistently enough when he reminded me that they were both growing in the same pot! Duh! But . it is a mystery to me. I added some plant food and a new covering of soil so it is deeper. I will probably go move "them" back even further into the shade as they did get filtered sun and its been VERY. read more hot here.
Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing the baby one to yellow? The leaves aren't curled or anything like that .. to me it looks like a plant looks when not enough of whatever nutrition it needs, but I don't know.
Thanks for any suggestions. Joyce Simmerman

On May 27, 2010, MigthyMouse from Mexico City,
Mexico wrote:

Flower Stinks because the polinization needs to be done by fly's
so it smells like a dead animal
I will post a pic of my plant tomorrow

On Apr 27, 2010, spazrules from Columbus, OH wrote:

We started with a bulb and had a multiple branched small tree the first season, this year the plant came up as shown, large stalk with a single leaf like a large tulip, It has now begun to smell terrible, Does anyone know if this plant morphs into another plant after a few seasons?

On Jul 11, 2009, edinmetr from Waterford, PA wrote:

My family has grown Hydrosme Riveiri for many years. Several have had bulbs that fit snuggly in 5 gal. pails when they began their bloom cycle indoors in winter. I have 5 large bulbs 8 to 10 years old each. My oldest bulb, 14 years old has not yet sent up its summer growth and I have some doubt it will for it threw a double bloom this past winter. History of the line my family has indicates that when a bulb throws a double, it is its last hurrah so to speak.

One funny occurrence happened in back in 1956 when we donated an 8-years old bulb to the Dayton Museum of Natural History as it was beginning its winter bloom cycle. They were warned that the bloom would have an odor when it opened so they found a suitable location in the room in which they housed their live animals. read more . However, the day it did, the director opened up in the morning as usual and then spent the next 20 to 30 minutes checking for dead animals that the others had missed for a few days.

These interesting bulbs are a conversation piece to those walking past our home as we have some in a bed next to our front porch and others in planters on the side of the steps.

On Apr 3, 2005, BamaMark from Birmingham, AL wrote:

I'm relatively new to the gardening world, and am more full of questions than answers. I bought a house two years ago and was given several plants when I moved in. Being very busy at the time I randomly planted them around the yard. Well this year I have a bloom forming that I believe is the Voodoo Lily Amorphophallus rivieri. I've attached the first picture I just took and will add more as it developes. If anybody can confirm that this is this plant, I would appreciate it greatly. And secondly, are there any specific precautions I should take in moving the plant? Do they have long roots?

On Sep 12, 2004, ksajw from Mechanicsville, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have planted this plant for over 10 years. It is fascinating to watch it grow. I plant them very close together in my flower bed or in pots on the deck. I dig them up in the fall and plant them in May/June. I have 4 big bulbs that bloom in the winter. Very pretty flower, but it really stinks. I just cover it with a plastic bag. A friend leaves his plants out all winter, but they are planted up close to his basement. His plant will bloom in May and then it grows the folage. I have a bulb that will fill a 5 gallon bucket. I have measured this plant growing and it will grow an inch a day, sometimes more.They are fun to watch grow. They also multiply I have had up to 80 bulbs at one time. I have pictures if you are interested in seeing them. Just let me know. Easy to grow, Needs no special c. read more are or watering. Plant and forget it. Thanks for letting me share this with you. Carol

On Jun 13, 2004, yabedog from Lebanon, TN wrote:

i have heard about these before. i would love to know where i could buy one or the seeds. thank you yabedog. e mail [email protected]

On Mar 24, 2004, VoodooMama from Edmonton,
Canada wrote:

Last spring we had one of these growing on a side table in the dining room. One day my son and I came home for lunch and I smelled a disgusting odour as soon as we sat down to eat. Naturally, I blamed the little guy and started reprimanding him for making stinks at the table. He insisted that he didn't have to go, and that the stink was not coming from him! Then we noticed the plant. The voodoo lily had bloomed and was the source of the offending stench! Of course I appologized to my son and we took the stinky thing to the school for show-and-tell. The kids loved it! Everyone made faces and "Eew! Gross!" comments then came back giggling for more. The teachers looked it up on the internet and integrated it into their lessons. I planted it later, and it grew into the palm tree shaped plant b. read more ut it died while we were on vacation. Yesterday I bought a new one, and one for my sister. They must be quite popular here because I have been visiting the store weekly looking for them and still took the last two voodoos on the shelf!

On Aug 12, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Potted can be sunken into a water garden or bulbs can be planted directly into the soil. They are very frost sensitive, and should be lifted dried and stored during the winter. Even if grown in a tropical climate they will enter a dormant phase.

Grown as a food crop in parts of the world leaf stalk is mottled pink with green, very beautiful unusual foliage. Mature tubers can weigh up to 50 lbs.

Konjac is the easiest of all the amorphaphallus species to grow for novices, and usually stays at a manageable height. As with many of the arum species, the flowers have a very disagreeable odor to attract pollinating flies.


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