The Cobra Lilies are dormant in winter, going up and flowering quickly once the tubers start growing. Everything about them is lovely, the spooky mottled emerging shoots, bold leaves and exotic aroid flowers. As a rule, plenty of warmth and moisture, a relatively well drained soil away from direct sunlight will suit them. The species we list here are good garden subjects. In autumn, we supply recently lifted tubers. Store cool but frost free, planting next spring.
Plant names highlighted in green have images attached, click to view.
Arisaema ciliatum var. liubaeense CT369 £4
Freely dividing, and very late into growth and flowering in July, with attractive purple/cream striped spathes with long wispy tips. Flowers when small, 30cm tall, but capable of reaching 90cm ultimately. Thanks to Rod and Jane Leeds, for whom it is a permanent garden plant.
Arisaema flavum £4
Short and pretty, flowering when young. The spathes are very small but properly yellow, and visible, ike little owls perching among the foliage. The clusters of red berries are attractive. Known as a good doer in the garden.
Arisaema ringens £5
A very distinctive plant, stout but not particularly tall, with two trifoliate leaves and a big squat spathe with the limb folded sharply over to give a helmet-like appearance. In this form it is striped green and white. Early into growth, and flowering soon after emergence. Again, one for the garden.
Arisaema taiwanense f. cinereus BSWJ3602 £10
A really spectacular – but growable- species we’ve been looking forward to listing for years. It has striking large grey-green leaves, the radiating leaflets ending with long filiform tips which hang quite sharply down. The petioles are fat and beautifully mottled. The deep purple spathes also have filiform tips; the contrasting cream spadix has a peculiar spongy-looking tip. The Gusmans (if you don’t have their book, you should) describe it growing in Taiwan beneath Juniperus formosana, where wasabi cultivation threatens it. They say that it enjoys similar ‘needle rich humus conditions’ in the garden.
Arisaema tortuosum £4
A slender but not short species, reaching 50cm even on younger plants. The green spathes are flushed purplish and are carried among the pedate leaves, followed by attractive clusters of berries. Again, it fruits even on young plants, a very good feature. These are flowering sized seedlings from a mixed population, with every sort of snake skin mottling, dark, light, heavy and subtle on the pseudostem. A straightforward one for humusy soil.
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