Botanical center displays ‘stink lily’

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You might not love its scent but you can still marvel at the exotic voodoo lily now in bloom at the Quad City Botanical Center.

The voodoo lily – also called the devil’s tongue, elephant-foot yarn, snake plant or dragonwort – is the center’s plant of the week.

The plant is cultivated as an exotic ornamental in the U.S. and abroad.  The voodoo lily can grow to six feet tall, and its flower holds a sticky substance that attracts pollinating insects to the plant.

Humans don’t always appreciate being near the plant, which is also sometimes called a ‘stink lily.’  The sticky substance the flowers produce has an odor that is unpleasant to people, but that attracts pollinating insects such as carrion flies.

The Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 Fourth Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.