PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Cobra Lily
Arisaema speciosum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arisaema (air-uh-SEE-muh) (Info)
Species: speciosum (spee-see-OH-sum) (Info)
Synonym:Arum speciosum
Synonym:Arisaema eminens
Synonym:Arisaema speciosum var. truncatum
Synonym:Arisaema speciosum var. eminens





18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Purple/Black

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds


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

Crescent City, California

Huntington Beach, California

Portland, Oregon

North Augusta, South Carolina

Bellevue, Washington

Blaine, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 8, 2003, Baa wrote:

A tuberous perennial from the Himalayas.

Has one large, dark green, palmate leaf sometimes with a thin reddish margin borne on a stout purple spotted stalk. Bears a deep reddish brown to almost black spathe striped with white, the spadix protrudes well out of the spathe almost to the ground.

Flowers April - June

Needs a well drained but moist, neutral to acid soil in dappled shade. They should never dry out even when dormant but keeping the moisture balance correct can be tricky as the tuber will rot in excessive moisture, frazzle with too little.

There are some places that site this one as being hardy to zone 7, this may be true but if growing outside a good winter mulch might be the difference between having this plant for more ... read more