Arisaema dracontium

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: dragon root 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Araceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Light green
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil


Best grown in humusy, medium to wet, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Needs constantly moist soil rich in organic matter. Does poorly in heavy clay soils. This native wildflower is somewhat uncommon and should be left alone in the wild.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Arisaema dracontium, commonly called green dragon, is very similar to Jack-in-the pulpit, except green dragon usually has only one large, long-petioled, compound leaf that is divided into 7-15 lance-shaped leaflets and has a greenish spadix which is narrower and tapers up and beyond the less prominent, greenish hood (lacks the distinctive purple striping of Jack) of the spathe. Also like Jack-in-the-Pulpit, this plant goes dormant in the summer, with the mature plants producing red berries which become visible in mid to late summer as the spadix withers. Roots contain calcium oxalate (same chemical as in Diffenbachia or dumb cane) and are poisonous in an uncooked state.

Genus name comes from Greek words aris meaning "arum" and aima meaning "red", in reference to the red-blotched leaves found on some species.

Specific epithet means small dragon.


No serious insect or disease problems.


An interesting native spring wildflower for the shady woodland garden, wild garden or native plant garden. Grows well in moist conditions along streams or ponds. Combine with hostas which will continue to fill the space in summer when these plants go dormant.