Monday, June 04, 2007

Aroids, Part IX

The flower of Arisaema flavum is just peeking through its unfolding leaves... you can see why it's sometimes called the owl Jack in the pulpit. The only yellow Jack, it has, if accounts are accurate, a very odd natural distribution: primarily native to the Himalayan area of India, Nepal, and China, it is claimed in internet descriptions that it extends down to Yemen and Africa?? It is a cool climate lover, and I find this southerly extension of its range odd if not dubious.
Well, it is an odd plant, that's for sure. It doesn't show above ground here until about the second week of May... in spite of the fact that I am well aware of its tendency to be last out of bed (a title it shares with Arisaema candidissimum), invariably every spring I think this little Jack must have finally been winter killed, only to see it finally poke its nose above ground. It then just sits there for two weeks, then in a matter of days, shoots upwards, unfolds its foliage and opens its little flower.
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