Questions on another voodoo plant and lettuce woes

closeup of voodoo plant from Pam Limes
Photo from Pam Limes

Can you help readers with these two gardening questions?

Gardening question #1: What’s the name of this stinky plant?

voodoo plant from Pam Limes
Photo from Pam Limes

I saw your post about the stinky plant. I think I have one, but it does not look like a lily.

I was told mine is a voodoo plant. Last year, it gave me a beautiful umbrella effect. This year, it is odd and has a red flower in the middle. Today I found a ton of flies on it, and boy does it stink!

Here are some pictures. Do you know what this is?

Thanks in advance.

Pam also sent along a photo of an Amorphophallus konjac that wasn’t in bloom, and she said that’s what her plant looked like last year. The voodoo lily that I wrote about is an  Amorphophallus konjac, but its flower looks very different from this flower.

She followed up with a little more information:

My friend gave me a bulb and told me the name is a voodoo plant. She also told me it is called a corpse plant, probably because of the horrible smell. If I can get the smell to go away AND the flies, I will keep it, but it may have to go!

Can you help Pam identify her plant? If so, please leave a comment below.

Question #2: Is this lettuce done?

This question is from Carol LaRue:

I was given a salad bowl container with all kinds of lettuce for Mother’s Day.  It was looking terribly puny Saturday so I cut it back and lightly watered it.  It still feels damp but it is just sitting there looking miserable. Do I have to start over?

Will Carol’s lettuce come back? Should she start over? Please leave a comment with any suggestions you have.


Sometimes readers contact me with questions that I can’t answer. I’m not a gardening expert– I’m a writer by profession. I interview knowledgeable people in order to provide you with great articles on

So when someone asks a question I can’t answer, I post the question and rely on my readers to share their expertise. If you have advice for Pam or Carol, please leave a comment below. If you want to know the answer to these questions, check back later to read the comments.

Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.

A more efficient route for getting your questions answered is to turn to Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or to turn to your local garden center.

For Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, call (716) 652-5400 from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays or email them at For Chautauqua County, email your question to; call the Helpline at (716) 664-9502, ext 224, or stop in to the Ag Center, 3542 Turner Rd., Jamestown,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.

There are helpful Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in other counties, too. Find contact information here for your county’s Cooperative Extension office.

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6 Comments on “Questions on another voodoo plant and lettuce woes

  1. We have the same”brainy” growth coming up out in our Florida backyard. Last year we transplanted our Voodoo Lily from a pot to the yard. The plant “died”, but now we have this ugly, lettuce-like growth coming up. Nice to see others with the same phenomenon. Isn’t nature great!

  2. Judith, if the container is a real salad bowl, it probably doesn’t have the proper drainage. That could be the problem. Thanks for that advice.

  3. Barbara, I think that’s it! Some images I saw of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius look more like a lily, but some look like this plant, which I think resembles a brain. I guess the plant can look very different, depending on what stage it’s at. Apparently parts of the plant are edible, too, but you have to be careful how you harvest and prepare it or it could irritate your skin or throat. Thanks so much for your help.

  4. Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, the elephant foot yam or corpse plant, is a fantastic tropical aroid native to the Asian tropics, from India to New Guinea and Northern Australia. When in flower it smells like a rotting dead animal, which attracts flies, the primary pollinator. The huge, bizarre bloom appears from the dormant underground corm in March or April, then dies back as the single stem and leaf pushes up to its mature height of 6-7 feet.

  5. Does the container have drainage holes? If not, you should either drill holes in the container or take the lettuce plants out and plant them elsewhere.

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