Root balls

I need some help figuring out what this came from. Looks like a root of some kind, but not sure what it could be. Emptied new soil in a pot and found this at the bottom while digging around.

At first, I assumed it was ginger, but has no smell at all. I have yet to plant anything in this pot or throw this out until I figure out what this root is and whether or not I should keep it.

2 Answers 2


It is a bulb or corm. Could be voo doo lily, Dracunculus vulgaris. Those bulbs tend to separate easily so it is not certain. Also the initial bulb will be larger than the others. These are most often grown in pots. Gladiola bulbs look like this also, but they are normally grown in a garden. If it is voo doo just leave them on a shelf indoors and they will start to grow in the spring.


These are definitely NOT gladiolus, because those corms do not have roots surrounding them, tend to have "last year's corm" attached to the bottom of this year's corm, and propagate themselves via very small cormels, not adult-sized corms. They are also definitely NOT ginger (I grow that myself; those rhizomes are elongated).

I think you may have small-sized calla lilies. To make sure, turn the bulbs over - if they're roundish on the bottom, with no roots, then they're probably callas. Adding a photo of the underside to your question would also help with an ID. Please let me know what you find via a comment, because if I'm wrong I'd like to delete this answer.

Regardless of what you have, I suggest that you keep them in a cool, dryish place for the rest of the winter, then either plant them in a pot or outside once danger of frost has passed. I think you'll be rewarded with a pretty cool plant! If you plant them outside and are in an area that gets colder than zone 8 (US) or so, you'll need to dig them up in the fall if you want to save them over the winter.

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