Arum italicum

Height: 38cm (15in)

Planting: distance: 30cm (1ft)

Features: flowers spring

Soil: fertile, moist

Site: partial shade

Type: herbaceous

Arum italicum subsp. Italicum (syn. A. italicum ‘Pictum’) is an excellent plant for a semi-shaded position. Unlike its close relative, lordsand-ladies (A. maculatum), its short-stemmed, arrow-shaped leaves appear above ground in autumn and persist throughout the winter.

The veins of each leaf are picked out in creamy white, providing attractive foliage for the garden during its dullest months. Interesting flowers of greeny-white spathes appear in late spring, soon dying away with the leaves. Poisonous berries, carried on stout stems, appear in late summer; green at first, they ripen to scarlet to give more colour in the autumn.

The variety ‘Chameleon’ has broad leaves marbled with three shades of green.

Cultivation

Plant the tubers 10cm (4in) deep in fertile, moisture-retentive soil in autumn.

Propagation: Lift the tubers in early autumn and divide the offsets.

Replant immediately.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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