This morning, I saw the coolest plant, Arisaema sikokianum! It is
a Japanese/Chinese (depending on what you read)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The pitcher is practically black on the
outside, while the interior spadix is pure white. It is just
striking. I am about to go back and buy one (all I can afford)
now that I have done some research and ascertained they will
survive in zone 5.
This site gives you some idea of how beautiful this plant is:
For those of you near Cambridge, Massachusetts, they are at
Pemberton Gardens in the shade section. Just don't buy them all
ere I get there.
Arisaemas are one of my favorite plant types - I grow about 15 different
species, including sikokianum and tortuosum, which will grow to the
impressive size of nearly 6 feet. All have interesting features - either
highly colored or contrasting spathes and spadix, mottling on the stems
and/or foliage and often a long, tail-like porojection from the hood of the
spathe that can extend for several feet. Most are hardy to zone 7 but a few
will tolerate zone 6 and some even zone 5. A rather exotic and appealing
addition to a shade garden with rich, humusy and moist soil.
They do propagate well from seed - I have a number of seedlings popping up
this year - but the sexual orientation of the genus is confused at best and
it may take some years before a plant will set viable seed. Both Heronswood
and Naylor Creek offer an impressive array of arisaemas for sale by mail
order. Prices range from $10 to $20.
pam - gardengal
Look for Arum italicum - cultivar most often available is Arum italicum
'Pictum' or synonymously, 'Marmoratum' and is commonly called Lords and
Ladies. This cultivar has great patterning on the pointed foliage in white.
Not an uncommon plant and should be readily availble at good quality
nurseries in your area for a modest price. While both are members of the
Araceae family, arums and arisaemas are quite distinct in appearance - arums
bear a very strong resemblance to callas, to which they are very closely
Be careful how you site Arum italicum - it will self seed readily and can be
pam - gardengal
here in warm sf bay area, a i is a good oldfashioned survivor plant.
doens't spread unless someone actively digs them up and tosses the dirt
around. i think a few seedlings may survive, if the ground is sell prepped.
otherwise easily sprouted in container mix.
Thanks, Pam. In the course of looking this one up, I saw some
very intriguing pics. I never knew there were so many absolutely
intriguing Arisaemas! Have you ever tried growing them in large
pots? I may move sometime, and it would be nice to take them with
me if I did. I gather they don't like to have their roots
I've never tried to move one (that's got to be a first in my garden!!), so I
have no idea how well they will respond to such an activity. I do know that
many of the more tender of the species can be dug and stored overwinter, so
it can't be all that radical a treatment. I have grown them in containers
for a limited time - it is not much to their liking - but I have one that
requires the corm/tuber to mature for three years before top growth emerges
and I didn't want to risk it being lost in the jungle of my garden. It did
leaf out and flower this spring, so into the garden it goes.
This link goes into some good detail regarding their container growth and
They become oddly addicting plants to grow.
pam - gardengal
Great! Homework! I have to think about where these guys can go
safely. There is a perfect place for them, but the neighbor won't
leep his tools off of our property, so that is out. I think I may
put them under a dogwood where it is not as wet as much of the
back yard is.
I can quite see how these may be addictive. They ate just so
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