Ariseama flower direction
Thu, 07 Jul 2005 10:18:51 PDT
Judy Glattstein posed a most interesting question, and one that I wondered about myself.  I do think that Ariseama must have, in general, a predilection to bloom facing a certain direction, based on the tuber's physical position in the soil.  I only have a single-leaf non-flowering plant of A. fargesii, but my two flowering stems on A. heterophyllum always face the same direction... with their backs to a garden path and facing directly into a large Rhododendron growing next to it.  On a side note, I'm still amazed about how a plant that first emerged on June 7th this year, can now be over 6' tall (2 meters) to the top of the upturned spadix.  It emerges and grows so fast (just 3 weeks to reach 6') that it would almost be possible to watch it grow in real time!  It has repeated this amazing growing feat reliably for the past 5 years.
Arisaema triphyllum blooms generally always face the same direction too, and so does my A. kishidae and tashiroi, now that I think about it. However, on a single but impressive plant of A. ringens, the muscular fist-like spathe faced in a direction turned 90 degrees from the direction it faced last year.  From alongside a garden path with limited view vantage points from which to snap a photo, I noticed that it turned this year making it more difficult to photograph!  Last year the flower was in perfect profile, while this year it turned it's back on the garden path.
It would be interesting to learn if there is some way of determining the direction of the flower when looking at the tuber shape, so one could determine the desired rotation when planting them.

Mark McDonough        
Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States  
"New England", near New Hampshire  
USDA Zone 5
alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, 
western american alpines, iris, plants of all 

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