This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Monday, June 20, 2011

The last jack of the spring (for me, at least)

There are a fair number of jack-in-the-pulpit species from the Himalayas, so perhaps some are still skulking underground in someone's Ann Arbor garden, but for me this is the final one to make its appearance in the spring.

It is Arisaema candidissimum. It's very easy, and it spreads around freely without being in any way obnoxious. For me it doesn't matter where I plant them, the flowers always face away from any path or patio near which I have placed them. Yes, I'm trying to funny ha ha. It actually seems to be entirely random -- a clump of five flowers will face in five different directions. The foliage doesn't hang around for very long before it turns yellow and returns to the earth.

Before I drop the subject of these cobra-lilies (as the they are known elsewhere), I'll mention that I once grew A. speciosa. A peripatetic friend of mine told me that in India large quantities of tubers of this species were sold at markets for pig slop, and he managed to bring some back into the U.S.  It was superb in my garden for a couple years and then it disappeared, presumably for lack of hardiness. The variety sold by Heronswood is listed as being hardy in  zone 5. Could be. I recommend it, but give it a nice bed of mulch before winter.

1 comment:

  1. I have a native one that I transplanted from an area on our private road that the landscape company hired by Consumer's Energy clearcut (leaving the dead ash trees, but that's another story). I put it in an area near my house shaded by planted pines and it has done well and this spring has made babies (more plants). Exciting to me!