Arisaema flavum – Ballyrobert Gardens

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Arisaema flavum

Arisaema flavum



About this cultivar:

Arisaema flavum is a sun loving cobra lily. Probably the smallest member of the genus. In early summer two leaves emerge from the underground tuber. At the same time, the stem holding the leaves supports a tiny yellow pitcher, just above the foliage. After flowering, the old flower fades to a stalk of bright red berries. Since this cobra lily inflorescence has both sexes, setting seed should be a regular occurrence, but doesn't seem to happen that often with us. The species epithet flavum is Latin for yellow and indicates its flower colour.

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade 
  • Soil: Almost any soil, avoid winter wet
  • Flowers: June, July
  • Other features: -
  • Hardiness: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C)
  • Habit: Columnar or Upright
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Height: 7 - 22 cm (0.25 - 0.75 ft)
  • Spread: 7 - 22 cm (0.25 - 0.75 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 5 to 10 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Colour: Yellow, green
  • Goes well with: Epimedium, Hosta

About this genus:

Arisaema is a large and diverse genus of the flowering plant family Araceae. Native to almost anywhere in the northern Hemisphere. First described in 1831 by the German botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794 -1868), I believe Arisaema is a combination of two Greek words, “Aris” meaning arum  (or the god of war!?) and “haema” meaning blood. The Asiatic species are commonly called cobra lilies, while western species are often called jack-in-the-pulpit; both names refer to the distinctive appearance of the flower.

One unusual trait shared by all Arisaema species is they change sex. Arisaema plants are typically male when small, and female or hermaphraditic when large, with a single plant capable of changing sex several times during its long life (20 years or more)!

Arisaema are mostly tuberous perennials usually with palmately lobed leaves, and distinctive tubular, hooded spathes within which the tiny true flowers are clustered at the base of the club-like or filamentous spadix, followed by a spike of red berries.

The ones we sell tend to grow almost anywhere that isn't being blasted by heat (not a problem in the British Isles) and are very hardy. However they are very slow growing; you need to be patient. However the wait is worth it, not only are they beautiful but unusual.. take a look at the photos during the day and night!

Try them with Epidmedium, or my favourite, Hosta.