Cultivation (growing techniques): Arum pictum- the real thing!
Started by: Ben ProbertGo to latest contribution by Ben Probert, 03 January 2007, 19:24. Go to bottom of this page.
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OK Arums are pretty good anyway, but A. pictum has to be one of the best! But Arum pictum is a common plant, isn't it? Unfortunately there are many plants labelled A. pictum which are in fact A. italicum 'Pictum', a nice leaf form of A. italicum. If you're still awake, here are the main differences between them. Arum italicum 'Pictum'- a nice low growing woodland plant with attractive leaves and a green spathe in spring. Smells stale, maybe a bit of chlorine. Arum pictum- a taller SUN LOVING species from western Mediterranean areas with plain green leaves and a maroon spathe. Smells... like fresh dung, probably cow. But here's the easiest way of all to identify A. pictum..... ta-dah it's the ONLY autumn flowering species! Likes a free draining spot in sun (obviously), but don't allow it to warm up too quickly after frost- a cold greenhouse is ideal, or just a sheltered spot away from morning sun. Mine grows in a pot but needs feeding to maintain vigour and will need to be monitored so it can be repotted as needed. If you get a chance to grow it... you MUST!
I too grow this arum in a pot (3 ltr tall form), but was surprised when it flowered for the first time this autumn, that the flowers (2) were only 5cms or so high, the leaves eventually reaching 20cms or so long. Am I not feeding often enough? It is the nicely veined form 'Primrose Warburg', see bulletin vol 68, page 277 for description but no picture. Mine attached; hopefully.
I should add that the first flower came well before the leaves, the second some weeks later after the first leaves.
Just found the other flower with the leaves. Picture taken 15 October, a month and 2 days later than the first picture.
I'm suprised that the first Arum flowered before it's leaves appeared- the spathe looked slightly stunted, but I have no idea what could have caused that (but it will almost certainly flower normally next year). I feed all of my Arums regularly during the growing season with Chempac #2 (high nitrogen) which boosts the leaves and tubers (and hopefully will improve flowering by helping the plant develop). This fertiliser is also excellent on my Arisaemas- one of my Arisaema tortuosum tubers swelled up from the size of a Jaffa Cake to the size of a modest grapefruit in the course of just one season!