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Re: Arum

  • Subject: Re: Arum
  • From: Ellen Hornig <hornig@Oswego.EDU>
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 14:50:54 -0500 (CDT)

Like Jim Waddick, I'm a great fan of arums, though it must be admitted
that their inflorescences are, to put it nicely, short-lived.  On the
other hand, their smell is not, to me, nearly as bad as some writers
imply - but then, I do have allergies.

I can't add anything useful on hardiness, but I do want to mention that
I was thrilled with the inflorescence on Arum orientale ssp. sintenisii,
whcih finally bloomed this year (Berndt Peters generously shared it with
me many years ago, and it has multiplied like crazy ever since, but never
reached blooming size).  It is every bit as pretty as it looks in Peter
Boyce's book: elegant satiny maroon-crimson spathes held above the
foliage, and it really does smell good.

I am puzzled, however, to see that A. orientale ssp. sintenisii, on casual
inspection, has much more in common with A. elongatum (also a satiny
red-maroon, but with a white "flare" up the middle) than it does with
A. orientale ssp. orientale, where the spathe is more "boat-shaped" (broad
and open) and purplish.  The foliage of the first two is fairly
similar, though A. elongatum holds its flowers lower in its leaves (among
them) - as does A. orientale subsp. orientale.  I know all three are
pretty closely related, and I believe the IDs are correct.  Thoughts from
my betters?

Ellen Hornig              
Seneca Hill Perennials     
3712 County Route 57       
Oswego, New York 13126 USA
USDA zone 5B (mintemps -10 to -20F)           
Phone:(315) 342-5915 
Fax: (315) 342-5573           
Website: www.senecahill.com

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