Sauromatum on the wiki and in the garden
Fri, 10 Jun 2005 15:04:38 PDT
Jim McKenney wrote:

The plants growing here have been outside for decades, and they spread
> themselves around a bit. They're not yet weedy, but the coarse foliage is
> friend to smaller plants.

I agree with this statement, but the answer is not to grow Sauromatum with
smaller plants that are in growth at the same time. I find it an ideal
partner to smaller bulbs - when planted deeply, below the other things. It
has yet to emerge here (like Arisaema candidissimum) while all the smaller
bulbs are now more or less dormant. When it shows up it will occupy an empty
temporal and spatial niche in a most convenient way, providing a lovely
foliage display for the rest of the summer and then getting out of the way
again. It has been totally hardy in Maidenhead for the past 14 years, at
least. A damp spot in a warm site will undoubtedly make it very happy, but
my largest patch is in rather arid soil and apparently quite happy there.

In my various gardens I grow 4 different stocks of Sauromatum venosum,
including one from Kenya, and I could not say that there is any difference
in hardiness between them. There is slight variation in foliage shape and
especially the colour of the petiole and its blotches, but nothing
significant. Flowering is occasional and in the open is comparatively
inoffensive compared to the various other stinking aroids I grow. Fruits
usually follow, but I have not attempted to grow the seed and am not sure if
it germinates in the garden.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP


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