The name Arisaema was established in 1831 by German botanist and explorer Von Matius (1794-1868) and was based on three Himalayan species A. costatum, nepenthoides and speciosum which had previously been described and illustrated in 1828 by dutch born surgeon and botanist Nathaniel Wallich who placed them under the genus Arum.
Of course Arisaemas can be found in other regions of the northern hemisphere including the mountain areas of Asia as the Himalaya region, India, China and Japan, and there are two species originated from N. America.
Most arisaemas grow in humus rich soil in filtered light positions. Hardiness varies considerably among the species. Some can be grown in regions where winter temperatures drop to around below -10 Deg C. provided the soil is not water-logged. Tropical species need to be grown in frost free regions. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, particularly during the hotter times of the day.
We have a small collection of 9 of these very beautiful plants. Most have been grown from seed purchased from various sources. Of these 9 we can only really confirm the identity of 3; flavum, sikokianum and ringens. The others will need careful examination to confirm, or otherwise their identity. We make this point because references in relation to Arisaema are uniform. For example many texts still record that A. amurense can be found in Japan. However, in 1986 japanese botanist Murata revised the group of A. amurense and stated that this species is restricted to continental Asia including Korea, Russia and China and not found in Japan. The similar Japanese species is A. ovale.
We will continue to review our collection.
Sichuan province in China
This plant has very large tripartite leaves and large maroon striped flowers that look like a cobra’s head. It comes up late and blooms in late summer. It is fairly hardy and needs moist, well-drained soil in shade to part shade. The plant is named for french missionary and plant collector Paul Farges (1844-1912).