Arum italicum Pictum
Lords and Ladies
Arum italicum Pictum (Marmoratum) is an interesting tuberous perennial with broad arrow-shaped, white-green marbled leaves. It bears fascinating greenish white spathes, followed by orange-red berries in early Summer. Fruits appear in August to December. It grows to 30cm, spreading to 30cm. Enjoys full sun/partial shade. Hardy.
CAUTION toxic if eaten/skin and eye irritant
Arum italicum Pictum is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Araceae family. Commonly known as the Italian arum, it is a native plant of the Mediterranean region, including Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This plant has gained popularity among gardeners due to its attractive foliage, unique inflorescence, and its ease of care.
The plant has glossy, arrow-shaped leaves that are dark green with white or cream-colored veins running through them. These leaves can grow up to 30cm in length and are one of the key features that make this plant stand out in any garden. The leaves are produced in the fall and persist through the winter, making it an excellent choice for adding interest to a winter garden. In the spring, the plant produces a tall, erect flower spike that is greenish-yellow in color and is surrounded by a hood-like spathe. This unique inflorescence gives the plant its other common name – Lords and Ladies.
Arum italicum Pictum prefers to grow in partial to full shade, making it an ideal plant for woodland gardens or shady borders. It can also grow in full sun, but the leaves may scorch if exposed to too much direct sunlight. It thrives in moist, well-draining soils and can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and sandy soils. The plant is hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -15°C, making it suitable for gardens in temperate regions.
One of the reasons Arum italicum Pictum is so popular with gardeners is its ease of care. It requires little maintenance and is generally pest and disease-free. However, it can be susceptible to root rot if planted in poorly-draining soils, so it’s important to ensure the soil is well-drained. The plant is also drought-tolerant, but it’s important to keep it watered during dry spells, especially in its first year after planting. Fertilizing is not necessary, but a light application of compost or organic matter in the spring can help improve soil fertility.
Arum italicum Pictum is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden settings. It works well as an accent plant, either in a border or planted in groups under trees. Its glossy foliage adds interest to a winter garden and can be used in floral arrangements. The plant also makes an excellent groundcover, especially in shady areas where other plants may struggle to grow. It can be used to fill in gaps between larger plants, or planted in drifts to create a naturalistic look.
Despite its attractive foliage and unique inflorescence, Arum italicum Pictum is also known for its toxicity. All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation and burning if ingested. It’s important to wear gloves when handling the plant, and to keep it out of reach of children and pets. If ingested, symptoms can include burning and swelling of the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
In conclusion, Arum italicum Pictum is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. Its attractive foliage and unique inflorescence make it an excellent choice for adding interest to a winter garden, while its ease of care and tolerance to a range of growing conditions make it a popular choice with gardeners. However, it’s important to remember that the plant is toxic and should be handled with care. With the proper precautions, Arum italicum Pictum is a plant that can bring beauty and interest to any garden.