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More Information About Arisarum

The genus Arisarum is very small, with just 3 species (Arisarum proboscideum, Arisarum simorrhinum, and Arisarum vulgare) or 4 if you count the naturally occurring hybrid Arisarum x aspergillum (A. simorrhinum ? A. vulgare). Arisarum is native to countries on both sides of the Mediterranean, from Turkey to Spain in the north and to the Canary Islands in the south. Overall, plants in the genus Arisarum are very similar to the aroid arisaema, only smaller.

The solid purple or white-striped purple flowers appear with a flourish in spring and continue until the summer heat arrives. Like many other aroids, the flowers of arisarum are held under the leaf canopy and are mostly invisible unless you are a gardener that gets up close and personal with your plants. The bulbous flower spathes sometimes have long cauda (whip like tails) at the tips which give the overall appearance of a little purple mouse. How charming. The flowers smell "fungus-ey" which is an adaptation that attracts their preferred pollinator, the fungus gnat. Even if you never see the flowers the plant is a worthwile garden subject for its low growing, arrowhead-shaped leaves.

Arisarum, like many other Mediterranean plants, are adapted to hot dry summers and cool, but not cold winters. They are deer-resistant and prefer part sun (or full sun if protected from wind) and rich, well-drained soil. Although they are drought-tolerant, they will bloom better if kept regularly watered during spring. In the right conditions, Arisarum will spread via rhizomes to form a colony. Arisarum plants avoid the dog days of summer by going dormant, but will reappear early the following year. Keep the plants dry in winter to avoid bulb rot. When you are ready to buy arisarum for your perennial garden please check out our online list of arisarum for sale.