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Sauromatum venosum (voodoo lily)

A distinctive plant from upland areas of Africa and Asia, voodoo lily has flowers that emit a smell resembling rotting meat.
Sauromatum venosum

Sauromatum venosum (voodoo lily) (Photo: Cillas licensed under CC by 2.0).

Species information

Scientific name: 

Sauromatum venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Kunth

Common name: 

voodoo lily, monarch-of-the-east, red calla

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Primary evergreen forests, meadows by rivers, secondary thickets and along the sides of paths.

Key Uses: 


Known hazards: 

Intense irritation can be experienced when handling or consuming raw plant material of many members of Araceae (aroid plant family).


Genus: Sauromatum

About this species

Native to upland areas of Africa and Asia, voodoo lily has flowers that emit a foul smell resembling rotting meat. This odour attracts insect pollinators such as flies. Despite its putrid smell, voodoo lily is popularly cultivated as an ornamental. Its popularity is due in part to it being one of the easiest aroids to propagate and one of the hardest to kill.


Arisaema venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Blume, Arum venosum Dryand. ex Aiton, Desmesia venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Raf., Sauromatum guttatum var. venosum (Dryand. ex Aiton) Engl., Typhonium venosum (Dryand.


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