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More Information About Biarum

As its name suggests, the genus Biarum is related to the better known aroid genus Arum. The 21 species of Biarum are native to the Mediterranean and western Asia. Like its botanical cousin, Biarum species are small bulbous plants that produce a clump of leaves and a foul-smelling spathe and spadix flower. Biarum flowers are usually smaller than Arums and are white, brown or purple in color. They are often held at ground level or just slightly above it. Some Biarum flowers closely match the color of the soil and are hard to see (but easy to smell). Their small size makes Biarum perfect for a rock garden.

Like many Mediterranean plants, Biarum species go dormant in the summer to avoid the heat and drought. They re-emerge in the fall or early spring and bloom before going dormant again. Biarum prefers part-sun and a well-drained soil. During its summer dormancy, try not to overwater Biarum species as it can promote root rot.