You love them or hate them. We love them. The Arisaemas, also known as cobra lilies, are distinguished by their hooded spathes, often with a long 'tail' at the tip, along which pollenating insects crawl. They have an interesting sex life. Young plants (they grow from tubers) are male, but when mature they become female, and then have most impressive spikes of red or orange fruits in autumn. If they are starved, they can become male again. They should be mulched in winter to retain a little moisture, or they can be grown in pots, which are sunk in sand or soil.
Arisaema propinquum has a spathe with dramatic white markings on top of a purple, almost black background. The spadix is deep purple and extends out the end of the spathe. With large, shiny leaves this is a striking plant in a woodland border.
||Late spring to early summer|
||well drained soil|
||20 - 60 cm|