Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

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Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Baa 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 than one year or having an empty space in the shady border.

As with many Arisaema, they don't wake up too early in Spring, don't expect to see much before April where cool springs are the norm, sometimes they may appear as late as June.


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

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