Arum hygrophilum, Asarum maximum and A. nobilissimum

Jim McKenney
Tue, 30 Mar 2010 08:42:11 PDT
Arum hygrophilum is starting to bloom in one of the protected cold frames.
Of the two color forms shown on the wiki, I think my plant will be like the
one with less white on the inside of the spathe. 

Also beginning to bloom are Asarum maximum and A. nobilissimum. I have two
forms of A. nobilissimum. One has a bright white streak on the petals,
somewhat like the big white patch on A. maximum. This one and A. maximum are
in bloom today. The third plant, the other A. nobilissimum, is not yet open.

I have two forms of A. maximum also. The one here for years has no cultivar
name that I am aware of; and I recently acquired a plant of the cultivar
'Ling Ling', but this has not yet bloomed. It looks like a tissue culture

If you know only the native A. canadense, you will be surprised when you see
the flowers of these two species: they are big, several inches across. A.
maximum is very striking. The form of A. nobilissimum without the white
patch is something else - gross, suggesting suppurating tissue or like
something out of an anatomy or pathology book. 

A. maximum might work as a garden plant here: years ago I saw it in an
unprotected spot in a local public garden. That was a nice clump full of
flowers. When I checked the site the next year, it was gone. Perhaps it died
during the winter. On the other hand, these striking plants are probably
potent thief magnets (and no, that is not how I acquired my plant). 

A. nobilissimum came with a zone 8 rating (I'm in zone 7), and it's been in
a cold frame and growing well since arrival several years ago. 

I have a hunch that these asarums are a lot more sun tolerant than they are
given credit for. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where temperatures over 80 degrees F (~27 degrees C) are predicted for
the weekend. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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