Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cuckoo Pint, Lord's and Ladies, Adder's Tongue, Calves Foot, Sweethearts
Arum maculatum

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Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arum (AIR-um) (Info)
Species: maculatum (mak-yuh-LAH-tum) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Perennials

Height:
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Green

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Herbaceous
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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Profile:

2 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Clint07 On Oct 29, 2014, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

I suspect that xtine above had Arum italicum, not A. maculatum because the former stays green all winter but the latter does not.

Other than that, they're very similar. They're both beauties which put up their spathes and spadices around the same time, May, here in Zone 6. Then A. italicum dies back to come up again in October. It seems to be on a southern hemisphere cycle.

Both can be invasive, but planted next to and amid Japanese pachysandra in my yard, they are well behaved.

Negative robinworth1 On Mar 23, 2014, robinworth1 from Deal
United Kingdom wrote:

DO NOT TRY TO GROW THIS PLANT!

If you live in an zone with extremely cold winters, this plant may be possible to control. If you live (as I do) in a country with mild winters and summers, and plenty of rain, then it will proliferate and you will find it impossible to eradicate. The rhizomes are hard to dig out 100% and will regenerate. Also it will propagate by seed. Only painting young plants by hand with neat glysophate will kill them.

It's not even pretty. Stick with plain white arum lilies!

Positive xtine On Sep 14, 2004, xtine from Richmond, VA wrote:

I live in Richmond,VA and from what I have read, this plant is native to the UK and Europe. No one has been able to identify this plant which I have growing in two areas of my yard. I saw a drawing of it in the flower fairy series by Cicely Mary Barker where it was identified as Lords-and-Ladies. It grows just as listed and adds nice color in the winter. It manages to live through the ice and snow and does well with lots of water and shade (due to where it is planted). I live in an old home that at some point had a rather impressive garden. The leaves are coming up right now in tight twists that pop through the soil. I am glad to have more information.

Neutral Baa On Sep 22, 2001, Baa wrote:

The only British representitive of the Arum genus.

Has arrowhead shaped, mid to dark green, smooth, glossy leaves appearing as early as February, the leaves sometimes had purple or black markings which seems to be a warning sign. Bears large, pale green spathe which hides the true white flowers. The purple, central spike carries male flowers above the female flowers which mature at different times. The spathe dies away as the berries are forming. Berries begin green and mature to bright red or reddish orange in early summer.

Flowers April-May, don't get your nose too close, they are polinated by carrion flies and have a faint aroma of rotting flesh.

Romps away on moist, leafy humus rich soil in partial shade and is great for a woodland setting. They are all over my garden and once you have them theres no getting rid of them.

It has been used for a number of things in times past but it must be remembered that the whole plant is very poisonous.

Don't be fooled by the lovely country names, they owe more to the act of procreation than anything else, even the word cuckoo is not as it seems.

It was once used as an aphrodisiac and a love philtre (apparently the dried root isn't poisonous but still not one to try out under any circumstances).

Starch was made from the dried roots and put in hair and beards or used to stiffen clothing. It was also used as a cosmetic to whiten the face during Elizabethen times (the first one). Apparently the starch used to blister and roughen the hands quite badly. The whole plant was also mashed and used to wash linen.

The dried root was also used in a gruel for the poor and sick people (not sure if they just wanted to do away with them quicker) but the root needed elaborate washing and pulping to render it edible.

Its now used as a homeopathic remedy but again must be used only under trained medical practitioners.

Regional...

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

Cincinnati, Ohio
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Houston, Texas



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