Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Italian Arum, Large Cuckoo Pint, Lord and Ladies
Arum italicum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arum (AIR-um) (Info)
Species: italicum (ee-TAL-ih-kum) (Info)

Synonym:Arum italicum subsp. italicum

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

62 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #1 of Arum italicum by Toxicodendron

By bernard_hallee
Thumbnail #2 of Arum italicum by bernard_hallee

By goswimmin
Thumbnail #3 of Arum italicum by goswimmin

By philomel
Thumbnail #4 of Arum italicum by philomel

By philomel
Thumbnail #5 of Arum italicum by philomel

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #6 of Arum italicum by kennedyh

By lupinelover
Thumbnail #7 of Arum italicum by lupinelover

There are a total of 32 photos.
Click here to view them all!


10 positives
8 neutrals
11 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bluethumb3 On Oct 29, 2012, bluethumb3 from South Deerfield, MA wrote:

I have had a positive experiance with this plant in my zone 5b garden in full sun, and well drained loam about 4" deep Planted it 4 years ago, bloomed the second year, has stayed in a 18" patch, and grows to about 15" tall. Comes up in October kinda goes into limbo for the winter and continous to grow in spring,flowers in mid June,dies back in August, and starts all over again in October

Positive coriaceous On Oct 8, 2012, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful plant that isn't invasive in the Northeast. It IS invasive in the southeast and on the west coast, where it's a threat to the environment. I've grown it in moist garden soil for over ten years, and in that time the clumps have gotten fuller but not much wider. This plant isn't aggressive in my garden, nor in those of any gardeners I know north of Philadelphia. Hardy herbaceous plants with beautiful winter foliage are few and far between.

Be prepared, all the foliage goes summer dormant. Leaves rise up in the fall, stay beautiful through the winter, and more leaves rise up in the spring. Great interplanted with hostas, to timeshare garden space.

The late spring flower spathes are apple green in my garden, attractive but not terribly showy.

The sunken pot trick will contain some invasive species but by no means all. Where this is invasive, I wouldn't rely on a sunken pot to confine it. Roots can get out through the drainage holes, and seeds can spread regardless.

Neutral smithville On Sep 25, 2012, smithville from Willow Street, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

All invasive plants can be planted in a large pot, then submerge the pot into soil.

Positive shanghaifanny On Aug 12, 2012, shanghaifanny from Cleveland, OH wrote:

I've lived in my little lakeside cottage on the shoreline of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio for 23 years. My yard is very shady and the soil is mostly clay-like. This summer (2012) we have our first Italian Arum stalk (just one) in 15 years. I love this plant and wish it were invasive in my yard. More than one plant every 15 years would be a delight. Does anyone have any suggestions how I might encourage another one of these plants (or more) to grow? Last winter was very mild and those lovely arrowhead-like leaves were present and quite hardy. Do the orange berries drop and reseed another plant? I'm no green thumb, but I'm willing to learn what I need to do to grow more of these cool Italian Arum plants.

Negative Bohlenn On Apr 9, 2012, Bohlenn from Ukiah, CA wrote:

I believe this plant came into my garden through horse manure or commercial mushroom compost. I'm convinced it's spreading underground, possibly along the bindweed network that underlies my garden. It has multiplied about a hundred-fold since last year, so this year I've undertaken a zero-tolerance policy and am digging up every blasted corm. I also think that it only takes one cell of this thing to clone itself, although I'm sure I'm missing some of the tiny corms when I remove the big ones, because they attach dirt to themselves and just look like little dirt balls. Nasty stuff! I'm finally realizing that I can't put it into the green bins, because the green bins go to our local composting plant, and I'd just be spreading misery all over town. Do not let this spread any more in California!

Positive delbertyoung56m On Jul 15, 2011, delbertyoung56m from Medina, NY wrote:

Planted Italian Arum 10 years ago and it is not invasive in Medina, NY. It grows exactly where orignally planted and has gotten larger, but has not invaded its neighbors. It is in part to full shade, and the leaves are green even in the winter, when the snow is moved aside.

Neutral cabngirl On Jul 13, 2011, cabngirl from Sonoma, CA wrote:

Yep, it's invasive! Yep, it's very pretty. Which side of the coin depends on circumstances but you will have been warned if you saw this page. I've enjoyed the plant over the years and never had as much trouble with it as I've had with other invaders-
I've had more invasion issues from it's cousin the Voodoo Lilly, lamium galeobdolon luteum, viola odorata, hypericum (not sure which I have but it's taking over) to name a few culprits. I seem to have managed to inherit a swelling army of notorious invaders over the years. It would be funny if it wasn't such a drag.
I have liked italian arum for giving a lush tropical look to dry shade but wouldn't plant voluntarily it if I was concerned about escapes or inundation. [Sonoma CA]

Negative cfsmisc On Jul 11, 2011, cfsmisc from Seattle, WA wrote:

I tried for 7 or 8 years to eradicate this beautiful, but invasive plant, but it thrived and spread where it had not grown before. I sifted soil, removing what bulbs I could see. I burned emerging shoots methodically. I tried many sprays. Finally a commercial gardener suggested SpeedZone. I have used this two years and now am winning the battle. I have allowed only one patch of Arum italicum in our yard because my wife likes it for flower arrangements. This patch is surrounded by concrete and cannot escape. And I do not allow the seeds to escape. I cut them down during the summer after the leaves have died back. New leaves emerge in the fall or winter to repeat the cycle. If you do want to grow them, plant them in stainless steel or concrete and don't allow them to escape. Put a warning on any that you want to sell or give away. IMHO Arum italicum should not be sold!

Negative cmhhehe On Jun 27, 2011, cmhhehe from Richmond, KY wrote:

I have beautiful leaves, but the flower, will not complete and no red berries, I replanted in another area and it still will not bloom. It still came up in the original spot. How do I get this to bloom?. It needs a lot of water or the leaves curl. This plant was first planted in 2005.

Negative Wisee On Jun 24, 2010, Wisee from Batesville, AR wrote:

We live in Arkansas where this corm was already planted in one spot in the yard by the previous homeowners. At first we liked it, as it was the only planted plant that was green even on the coldest winter days. Last year I decided I didn't want to let the green-turning-red corn cob-like seed heads to replant themselves, so I cut them off with pruning sheers. OUCH! My skin started prickling and itching and the effects lasted over an hour or more. One of the reviewers said this was the chemical, calcium oxylate. Interesting. I would be worried about children getting their hands on these alluring seed heads. I decided I didn't want this plant in the yard, so when the leaves reappeared in the autumn, I sprayed them with RoundUp, but they resprouted some months later. So, now it is late June, and the seed heads are just turning red. What we have noticed is that many plants do not grow near this plant, like a chemical warfare is going on, at least not the common Wood Violet that we allow to grow in our mulched bed, acting as a ground cover. Especially noticeable when the leaves die in the spring.
As for a herbicide to use, we've noticed glyphosate (Round Up) doesn't always work well with broad-leaved weeds, and especially plants with tubers, corms, and bulbs. I plan to try 2,4-D of 9% (I get it at Tractor Supply),or Spectracide Triple Strike, that contains fluazifop, DMA salt of dicamba, and diquat dibromide on these plants.

If you want something similar that is native, try planting Green Dragons. We have some that come up naturally in the yard.

Neutral toughcheesesmallpaws On Jun 2, 2010, toughcheesesmallpaws from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

We are in Ohio and I'm curious about this plant. After buying our first house we're finding all sorts of volunteer plants in our yard from muscari, to daffodils, the morning glories that have taken over the side of the yard, three types of ivy, to the balding cypress that my husband thought was dead until it suddenly sprouted green, to the myriad of rose bushes that had been hacked down and are trying to grow again to this plant that took us forever to identify.

I think it's neat looking and I want more of a green yard that I don't have to fuss too much with. Right now it's taken up residence along our back fence and seems pretty tame. It's only in a small 3 foot patch and seems to have it's leaves dying down (is that normal) with the berry stalks just starting to green. I'm wondering if it is over crowded and want to spread it out. If I can get it to grow along that fence and not have to try to maneuver the lawn mower along there I'm happy.

Everyone seems to say it's pretty invasive, but I think the honey suckle is much more invasive (I'm battling it out with 4 bushes that were allowed to get taller than my house!).

Negative hermero On Apr 2, 2010, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

When we moved to this property about 18 years ago, Arum appeared in a few places and I thought it was nice to have green sprouting in late winter. Now it's multiplying on a grand scale. I,m now removing all seed heads before they turn orange. I've tried digging, but can never get all the baby corms. Tried Roundup which will kill the leaves if the weather stays dry enough, but the next year's growth seems just as strong. I just read a suggestion on another site about adding detergent and liquid fertilizer to the Round up which I may try this year. Anyone with a certain method for removal, please post it. FYI:This is on the invasive list for Oregon.

Positive angelclaw On Mar 4, 2010, angelclaw from Sacramento, CA wrote:

I have several of these growing in a bed with geraniums, roses, calla lilies and naked ladies. There are a few more in my backyard under a meyer lemon tree. I haven't had any problems with it being invasive - the geraniums are far worse in that regard. I almost never water it and the ones in the geranium bed get full sun all summer long. The one under the lemon tree gets more shade, water and even Miracle-Gro but it hasn't spread much either. I don't know if it's the hot, dry summers or something in the soil but I don't seem to have the same problems with this plant that plague my fellow CA gardeners.

Negative nolansland On Feb 13, 2010, nolansland from Santa Clara, CA wrote:

Good grief. My neighbor told me about this little-shop-of-horrors of a plant a few years ago, encouraging me to dig it up and dispose of it immediately if I ever saw it. Had I heeded his warning then, I would not be dealing with the mass infestation I have now. This afternoon I decided to start getting rid of it in earnest.

Add me to the list of disgruntled CA gardeners with this cuckoo of an arum.

At least it's more enjoyable to those in other parts of the country. Maybe I'll list it for trade...hmmm.

Neutral dianejnichols On Jul 9, 2009, dianejnichols from Longmont, CO wrote:

I am going to try this plant in Firestone, Colorado. Last winter we visited the Denver Botanical Garden specifically to see what was green in winter. We found Arum Italicum with beautiful green leaves and the full clusters of orange-red berries just beautiful. I believe DBG is in Zone 5, as are we. Will post again with what success (or not) that we have with it here. I doubt that I have to worry about its invasiveness in this zone.

Positive sben451 On Jul 23, 2008, sben451 from Anniston, AL wrote:

Interesting foliage in cooler months. Colorful seed pods after blooming. Has spread somewhat in my flower bed, but I don't consider it invasive.

Positive stormyla On May 14, 2008, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

It behaves wonderfully in my shade garden. I've had no growth outside of the clumps. I love the green all winter. I'm in the Philadelphia area. My freinds who live 40 minutes south of here in New Jersey are thrilled to have me come dig theirs up as it pops up everywhere in their beds.

Negative stapeliad On Feb 7, 2008, stapeliad from Lodi, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

It is highly invasive in my backyard. Difficult to get rid of, since tubers, or parts of tubers start new plants. Otherwise, it is an attractive plant.

Positive henryr10 On Dec 9, 2007, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I feel the pain of those of you in the more temperate areas.
I saw several areas in CA that were overrun w/ it.

Here in Ohio though it's very mild mannered.
In fact too mild mannered here.
I'm having trouble getting it to spread.
It makes a great succession plant.
I have it in a bed w/ Jack-in-the Pulpit, Mayapple (very invasive but so impressive in spring) and Hosta.
So we get a 4 season display.

Negative wonderearth On Jul 11, 2007, wonderearth from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have this growing in my flower beds and it is a pain. I have had some success eradicating it by digging it up carefully so as not to leave any bulblets. It is a very vigorous plant here. It has even popped up in my potted plants!

Positive Lady_fern On Jun 30, 2007, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

It sounds like this plant should be avoided in the warmer zones. Here in zone 6 it behaves quite nicely. It stays in a clump and multiplies slowly like any plant would. Of course, I'm growing it under a pine tree and a maple tree and in pure clay soil, so the conditions are far from ideal. Maybe its robust nature helps it thrive where other plants have suffered. I love the stalks of berries in summer and the foliage in winter. I don't mind it going dormant in the summer because I'd rather have the foliage in the winter anyway!

Neutral Scorpioangel On Aug 29, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant will grow anywhere. It can be invasive, spread by bulbets, seed, moles, gophers, and squirrels. Nothing eats on them. Wonderful foliage for the winter months. Great Orange color when seeds ripen in late summer.

Negative futhark On Apr 18, 2005, futhark from Witter Springs, CA wrote:

Avoid at any cost!! Ever since moving to my present home on 2 1/2 acres 18 years ago, I have watched Arum italicum extend its coverage, displacing even crabgrass. This is in spite of all the hours I have spent each spring chopping down every single blossom and disposing of every single seed pod I could find. It flourishs in under the big oaks and grows to a couple of feet high in the spring. The leaf petioles and blades are semi-succulent and are filled with tiny crystals of calcium oxylate, visible in a high-power microscope. The calcium oxylate effectively deters any insect or other herbivore from eating the plants and, if you handle them, will make the skin between your fingers itch, much like fiberglas. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! DO NOT SPREAD THIS PEST!!

Negative Zuzu On Mar 1, 2005, Zuzu from Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

One of my neighbors planted one arum bulb about 30 years ago. The entire neighborhood is infested with it now. It is impossible to kill. Round-up won't kill it. When you try to dig it up, you release all of the tiny bulblets attached to the big one, and you end up with 50 plants where you once had one. I haven't seen my azaleas bloom for years. The arum is taller than the azalea. The arum dies down in March, allowing me to reclaim my garden, but by then the azaleas are finished blooming. One of my neighbors kept mowing it for four years and finally killed it, but that's impossible to do if it's in your flower beds. Another neighbor actually sold his house to get away from it. Please use caution planting this, and make sure you really love it, because it might be the only thing in your garden after a while. It is certain to outlive all of us.

Neutral CatskillKarma On Jul 30, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

My zone 4b/5a garden was too cold for it. I planted half a dozen bulbs in a sheltered shady area. The first year, only one came up. After that, none survived. I have grown other arums successfully in the same area, including black dragon and basic Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Positive lupinelover On Jun 7, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Those flowers are too cool to go without! Foliage provides something to look at during the bleak winter months, along with the seed stalks.

Negative Zanymuse On Apr 22, 2003, Zanymuse from Scotia, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

When planted in a bed with improved soil it crowded almost everything else out and was almost impossible to irradicate.

Neutral Terry On Sep 22, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A good companion for hostas; when the hostas die back in the fall, Arum will produce leaves repeating the shape of the dormant hostas, and remain green all winter. Plants produce white spathes of flowers in late spring, then go dormant as the hostas re-emerge. The berries form after the flowering is completed, and remain to provide late spring interest.

Neutral Sis On Aug 31, 2001, Sis wrote:

Partial shade;average,well drained soil
with organic matter.
Plant in late summer or early fall.
Set the tubers into individual holes or
larger planting areas dug 2-3inches(5-7.5cm)
deep. Space the tubers 8-12inches(20-30cm)
apart. Keep the soil moist during leaf
growth and flowering.

Propagation:Divide in early fall;otherwise,
allow plants to form handsome clumps.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Anniston, Alabama
Smiths, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Garfield, Arkansas
Carlotta, California
Chico, California
Clovis, California
Encinitas, California
Hoopa, California
Lodi, California
Menlo Park, California
Merced, California
Sacramento, California
Santa Clara, California
Santa Cruz, California
Sonoma, California
Ukiah, California
Walnut Creek, California
Clifton, Colorado
Shelton, Connecticut
Atlanta, Georgia
Ashley, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Mackinaw, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Independence, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Richmond, Kentucky
Bossier City, Louisiana
Adamstown, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
Fallston, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
South Deerfield, Massachusetts
Royal Oak, Michigan
Yale, Michigan
Clinton, Mississippi
Marietta, Mississippi
Piedmont, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Brooklyn, New York
Medina, New York
New York City, New York
Red Hook, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Cleveland, Ohio (2 reports)
Coshocton, Ohio
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Grove City, Ohio
Owen Sound, Ontario
Dallas, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Portland, Oregon (4 reports)
Salem, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon (2 reports)
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Manchester, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Magna, Utah
Arlington, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Locust Dale, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Canvas, West Virginia

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America