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[Aroid-l] Arum italicum

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Arum italicum
  • From: "David S." <maui4me@charter.net>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 23:23:15 -0400

I've been growing what appear to be several varieties of Arum italicum for
several years.  I first got started with what was sold as A. italicum
through Park Seed Co.'s wholesale division about seven years ago.  These
came as quite large, long tubers and were planted vertically about 4" deep.
When they came up, and it became more apparent over the years, they were
very different looking plants.  Some of them had large, all green leaves and
others had similar shaped, but not exactly, and had silver patches and spots
on them.  The inflorescences are also quite variable.  Some are mostly
green, others, greenish yellow and some of those have either a light or
heavy flush of purple inside.  Some of them also had purple/red spadixes
while others were white.  These all had tall seed spikes with red berries.

They are just now starting to put out leaves and I'm going to tag them as to
leaf type vs. inforescence.  To add more confustion to this, I bought
several pots of what were sold as A. italicum 'pictum' a few years ago and
set them out in a raised bed when they went dormant.  They had much smaller,
yet elongated tubers and they were growing horizontally.  Their leaves are
dark green with heavily silvered veins.  They are much shorter plants than
the others mentioned above with somewhat smaller pale green spathes.   All
had short seed spikes with orange berries.

I'm having a devil of a time figuring them out.  Is this species variable
like this?   I've seen so many pictures on the internet that are variously
labeled A. italicum, A. italicum 'pictum', A. italicum var. italicum, A.
italicum subsp. marmoratum, A. maculatum & etc.  All of these look like one
or more of what I have.  Whatever they are, they are beautiful plants during
the cold weather months!   The large one I first mentioned are growing in a
bed interplanted with mature Typhonium venosum.  As the arum leaves are
fading, the typhonium leaves are just starting out and the area stays
constantly green all year.  Any comments from you all?

Thanks!

David Sizemore
Kingsport, TN (zone 6a)

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