Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Arisaema on schedule.


I have an Arisaema in my garden, in one of the shadier spots. It's one of my favourite plants, and I look forward to its appearance every spring. Part of why it's a favourite is because it reminds me of my childhood in Ontario, and finding Jack-in-the-pulpits in the woods. Mine is an Asian species, which I haven't identified beyond genus. Note the extreme (and extremely cool) roll of the spathe.


Plant a year ago yesterday.

I made a series of photos of the plant as it unfolded last year. I checked the pictures last night (May 5), and discovered that by this date, the early tri-part leaves were poking up from the soil. I ran outside to look. Nothing. Oh no, had it succumbed to the unusually harsh winter, or some other catastrophe?

I was going to write a lament to a lost friend, but decided to check the garden one more time.

Plant today.

Voila! There it is! Overnight, it emerged, no doubt egged on by my concern. And today, as of half an hour ago (the picture above), it looks to be pretty much on schedule relative to last year. Such relief.


Arisaema sp., gone but not forgotten.

I worry, because I once had an even funkier Arisaema, one with the crazy palmate leaf morphology. It unfolded from the earth like an alien arthropod. It appeared and performed beautifully for three years (even fruiting), and then two years ago, failed to emerge. Gone, and missed.

4 comments:

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hugh what gorgeous plants these are .. sadly I have none but I truly want to find special ones like that. It is always a bit of stress waiting for that special plant to appear each year .. I can understand your disappointment when it didn't. This one however is a beauty ? : ) Joy

Karen said...

Glad that one of your favs popped up before you went from concern to grief. What a nice surprise. Wonder why the other one stopped appearing?

Teza said...

Hugh:
Tis a sad event to lose one of these wonderful cobra lilies.... The top one looks like it might be A. fargessii or A. griffithii - I have one that was MIA last year but has returned, I know it is A. fargessii..... gorgeous dark purple almost black spathe with vertical white striping. Your palmate leafed one looks like A. ciliatum.... I am still waiting to see if mine has returned.... such a conversation piece this genus is! Thanks for sharing your passion and photos

Hugh said...

Thanks, Joy. I keep my fingers crossed that crazy-leaf will one day return.

Karen, I don't know what could have happened. That whole corner of the garden has lapsed a bit, including the Hostas. I've recently fed it; hopefully it will perk up.

Teza, thanks for the identifications. After checking your suggestions, I think that the best guess is A. fargessii. As for A. ciliatum, mine emerged later in the spring, so perhaps yours is still on the way.