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"A diabolic jail..." Lorraine Tourist Trap Tip by F_Meignant

Lorraine Tourist Traps: 4 reviews and 4 photos

  Arum maculatum.
by F_Meignant

Scientific name: Arum maculatum. Comes from the name the ancient Greeks used to call it: Arôn. Maculatum means spotted.
English: Lords-and-ladies, or cuckoopint
French: Gouet or Pied-de-veau… and many local names. Some of them full of imagery: “Vit de prêtre”, “Membre d’évêque”, “Vit de chien” (priest’s, bishop’s or dog’s “member”) but also “Religieuse” (nun) or “Manteau de Sainte-Marie” (Virgin Mary’s coat). Strange mixture of sex and religion… as usual in France!
German: Gefleckter aronstab.
Dutch: Gevlekte Aronskelk.

Belongs to the family of the ARACEAE. Usually lives in forests.

A strange plant, mysterious and looking unhealthy…
A treacherous trap for flies. Not a carnivorous one: insects finally come out safe if they don’t die of exhaustion… So, why the hell trapping them if not for eating?
Because all the energy and “inventiveness” of species is used for reproduction.
Sex rules the world, that’s a well known principle… And for that purpose, nature invents surprising things, like the lords-and-ladies’ architecture.

The cuckoopint is made of a large green cornet often lined with red, called spathe.
At its base, a sudden narrowing and then a kind of spheric receptacle out of which stands a deep purple cylinder. Like a finger. The “finger” is called spadix. Smelling tainted meat. Unpleasant for humans but flies do love it.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 3, 2004
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