Sunday, September 01, 2013

Arum italicum "Marmoratum" Italian Lords & Ladies

September brings the autumnal fruits of Arum italicum "Marmoratum" to delight the hearts of gardeners.  We are all familiar with the clumps of large, arrow-shaped, glossy green leaves veined creamy-white from whose depths shoot up these showy spikes of orange-red berries at this time of year. So easy to propagate too; either by splitting and replanting the tubers or culling these fleshy seeds and throwing into your beds to a depth of a few inches.
And here we have a clump of Lords and Ladies in their original habitat at the Sheffield Botanical gardens. Here they look a bit spartan, (that's the purpose of a botanical garden, after all), and in the domestic garden would look well under shrubs and roses to give some ground level interest.  Lords and Ladies will grow pretty much anywhere in your garden, as long as you can provide moist but well-drained soil and avoid planting in gardens where children have unsupervised access; all parts are toxic if ingested.