Known as the ‘Dead Horse Arum’ or ‘Ass Plant’, this is a species that every Aroid enthusiast must grow at some point! The inflorescence can only be described as remarkable: large, flesh coloured and covered in hairs. To see and smell one of these plants in flower is quite an experience!
Originating from rocky coastal cliffs on a few Mediterranean islands, Helicodiceros muscivorus grows in areas often occupied by colonies of seagulls, and the swarms of flies that accompany them. It is the flies that act as the pollinator, being attracted to the inflorescence by the visual appearance and strong odour. The foliage is an attractive feature in it’s own right – being a pale matt-green colour and an interesting shape.
Helicodiceros is a little fussy in it’s requirements, and is perhaps not an ideal plant for a beginner. Growth tends to start in late Autumn or early Winter. Being a little frost tender, it is best to grow this in a frost free location. A cool greenhouse or conservatory is ideal. Beware of red spider mite which find this species particularly attractive. Plant in a deep pot using a well drained but fertile mix. Flowering occurs during the spring.
A ‘must have’ for every Aroid collector!