Arum italicum

Botanical Name : Arum italicum
Family:
Araceae
Subfamily:
Aroideae
Tribe:
Areae
Genus:
Arum
Species:
A. italicum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Alismatales

Synonyms : A. neglectum. A. modicense. A. numidicum.

Common Names : Cuckoo Pint, Italian arum and Italian lords-and-ladies

Habitat ; Arum italicum is native to the Mediterranean region (southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East) plus Great Britain, the Netherlands, Crimea, Caucasus, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. It is also naturalized in Argentina and in scattered locations in the United States. It grows on Stony ground near the sea, hedges and among old walls, often on calcareous soils.

Description:
Arum italicum is a perennial plant. It grows 30–46 cm (1–1.5 ft) high, with equal spread. It blooms in Spring with white flowers that turn to showy red fruit. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant for traditional and woodland shade gardens. Some gardeners use this arum to underplant with hosta, as they produce foliage sequentially; when the hosta withers away, the arum replaces it, leaving the ground covered.Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which A. italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Arum italicum can be invasive in some areas.

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Arum italicum may hybridize with Arum maculatum.

In 1778, Lamarck noticed that the inflorescence of this plant produces heat.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Succeeds in sun or dry shade, preferring a shady position and growing well in woodland conditions. A polymorphic species, the British form has been separated off by some botanists as A. neglectum. The leaves appear in the autumn, the plant staying green all winter. The inflorescence has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. This probably protects the flowers from damage by frost, or allows it to penetrate frozen ground. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c]. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.
Edible Uses:…Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable. An arrowroot can be extracted from the dried root. The root must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
It was used in ancient medicine, mixed with honey, to cure coughs. Currently used in homeopathy.

Known Hazards: The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arum_italicum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Arum+italicum

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