The elusive green dragon is easy to over look when other spring wildflowers are blooming, but its unique flower and distinctive leaf shape make it easy to recognize once it's been spotted. This strange plant has flowers that are sometimes entirely staminate (usually when young), pistillate, or occasionally both; and this trait can change from year to year--male flowers one year and female the next. The plants are easier to find when they are fruiting. By late summer, large clusters of bright red berries can be seen. At this time, the rest of the plant is beginning to go dormant and the distinctive foliage may have withered away. The berry cluster will eventually end up on the ground to entice turtles and woodland birds.
Green dragon corms can be eaten if they are prepared properly. If not, they can cause a severe burning sensation in the mouth and possible kidney damage. Luckily, deer can't cook, so this is a good plant to grow in landscapes where deer are over-abundant.
Uses: Shade gardens, wet soil, gender diphasy
Bloom time: May - June
Height: 16 to 30 inches
Space: 10 to 15 inches
Sun: No thanks. Shade.
Moisture: Average to moist