Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Mouse Plant (Or, Who Ate The Cheese?)

Arisarum is a small, obscure genus of aroids, containing only three species. One of these species, Arisarum proscideum, is the mouse plant, native to Italy and Spain. It is a little creeper, with thick clumps of shiny, arrowhead-shaped leaves and wee jack in the pulpit-like floral structures that hide under the leaves, with the long "tails" of the spathes, poking up through the foliage. When you part the leaves, you see these little jacks with maroon tops and white bottoms; the effect is like a covey of little mice burrowing down into the plants, with their tails waving in the air. This small plant, while not really invasive, does fairly readily form a thick, expanding clump, so I have the plant surrounded by a black plastic barrier, which you can see in the middle of the top picture. When I think about it, this might be the cutest plant in the whole garden.
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Don, I should have known you had these over there! What a smile that gave me to pop over and see those right at the top of the page! We've been eying those in the Van Bourgondien catalog for a couple of years and thought we might just go for some. Of course, you've convinced me now, lol.

btw ... my sister found (at Menard's of all places) 2 Voodoo Lily bulbs for $5 and she graciously offered us one. Yippee! Another arum (cornutum) is going in this week near the Dracunculus. Now we just need to find that Trillium foetidum to complete the set, hehe.
I've seen these in the catalog, too. I always wonder if they'd REALLY grow in Iowa. You have a fun, amazing collection of plants!!! :-)
IVG... I've had the arisarum for years and no problems with hardiness. I haven't seen my voodoo lily pop up yet, but it's a late shower.

shady... I don't give it any protection at all.

Wow. I never thought these would be hardy in a zone 5 garden. Must get one.
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