Aroids for Mediterranean landscape designs

>From: Rand Nicholson <>
>Subject: Re: "Wolverine Rotted Meat Cadavour Maggot Leavings Plant"
>Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 20:26:13 -0500
>          <snip>          I can't really visualize the plant being invasive
> in California,      <snip>

Not really 'on topic' for this post, but I felt the urge anyway:

There are few Aroids which seem to have become 'weeds' here in the
SF Bay Region of California - its generally a bit too dry and hot to
create such a phenomenon.  I've been listening to many people
discuss various Aroid genera/species which can get a bit out of
hand, and I always assume that these would not be a problem for us
due to the natural restrictions of our climate.

There are a few Mediterranean species which do at time naturalize.
Some might consider these weeds, in that they come up in unexpected
places, but I think this has more to do with the natural summer
dormancy.  This leads to 'accidental' transplantation to other parts
of the garden in a shovel full of soil, or just digging around.
More than once I've recycled soil from a gallon can where 'something
died', only to find Arum italicum or something else growing
alongside the new transplanted specimen with the fall rains.
(Keeping plants labeled in my propogation area, what with kids and
cats, squirrels and racoons, is a real challenge!).  Noting which
species are capable of naturalizing is of interest to me, adding to
my list of species which can 'grow dry' in our climate (an interest
of mine and a routine desire of my clients).  I continue to hope
that some on this list might provide some insight into which species
I might experiment with, but so many of you come from very different

If there are folks out there who are aware of Mediterranean species
which grow vigorously, multiple easily, are fairly interesting
and/or attractive in habit, please let me know!  The genus Arum
seems a good candidate, and as a means of trying out several
species, I've often wondered about setting up an Arum collection at
a local public garden (which already abounds with large amounts of
A. italicum in various degrees of variegation).  If people have
spare seed/corms of Arum species, I'd be happy to funnel these into
such a collection.  A lot of other Mediterranean species are
routinely discussed here, but many I feel might be best for the bulb
collector rather than landscape designer.  I'd welcome any tips of
species which can make handsome accents in landscape designs.

Thanks for your time and consideration!

 Sean A. O'Hara           
 710 Jean Street                    (510) 987-0577
 Oakland, California 94610-1459     h o r t u l u s   a p t u s
 U.S.A.                             'a garden suited to its purpose'
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