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Plants, Arisaema, Arisaema Thunbergii Urashima, Arisaema Sikokianum, Arisaema Ciliatum, Arisaema Ciliatum, plant

Plants, Arisaema, Arisaema Thunbergii Urashima, Arisaema Sikokianum, Arisaema Ciliatum, Arisaema Ciliatum, plant


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HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS

ARISAEMA

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BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Angiosperms

Clado

: Monocotyledons

Order

:

Alismatales

Family

:

Araceae

Kind

:

Arisaema

Species

: see the paragraph on "Main species"

The article was written by Dario Toffolon, a great fan of plants

the Arisaema belong to the family of Araceae,they are geophytes, that is, they produce an underground organ (rhizome, bulb, tuber, etc.) which allows to store energy resources for the survival of the plant and allows a latent period of dormancy, usually in the unfavorable season for growth (winter for plants in climates mountainous and continental, summer, often torrid, due to tropical climates).

to this family belong many genera, some of the most common in our apartments and gardens, which give us a touch of "tropical".

it includesCalle, Anthurium, Philodendron, Pothos, Monstera, Colocasia, Alocasia, Dieffenbachia, Arum, Amorphophallus, Dracunculus, Sauromatum, Caladium, Zamioculcas and a very high number of other genera.

like all the Araceae, they produce curious and spectacular inflorescences, formed by a spathe (a petaloid bract, that is a "transformed" leaf in order to make the whole, with a vexillary function, to attract the pollinators) and a spadix (the real inflorescence typical of all araceae, characterized by a thick and swollen "axis", sometimes hollow, which bears the flowers, mainly unisexual, according to the species, and sessile, that is, without a peduncle ) containing the male or female flowers.

they resemble carnivorous plants and at a first approach one can believe it, because in their funnel-shaped inflorescences, mainly flies and other dipterans (sometimes even beetles) are introduced, which literally "fall" into them, smearing themselves with pollen or carrying on the female flowers, alternatively present in the majority of species , the pollen attached to their hairy bodies in previous visits to other Arisaemas. these insects are therefore actually the pollinators that allow the sexual reproduction of these extraordinary plants and NOT their food.


Arisaema sikokianum

the Arisaema come from four geographical areas

:

1. from the Himalayan area: India, Himalaya (Sikkim, Nepal, etc.) and southwestern China
2. from Japan
3. from North America (USA and Canada)
4. from tropical and subtropical areas (southern India, Thailand, Malaysia, southern China, etc.)

apart from the fourth group (tropical), all the other Asian and North American Arisaema tolerate climates well, even very cold in winter and cool and humid in summer.

they are undergrowth plants that work well alongside ferns, hostas, hemerocallis, lilies, earth orchids, asarum, arum and in general all spring bulbous plants, but also ericaceae such as rhododendrons and azaleas, camellias and magnolias, and in general all loving plants of basically acid soils, which with their foliage also constitute an excellent shelter from the sun, feared in summer, and an excellent mulch composed of leaves fallen in winter.

the Himalayan, North American and Asian Arisaema they timidly appeared on our markets (mainly shops that have online catalogs on the internet: with the exception of two well-known Italian florists, the others are all from the Anglo-German market) at initially prohibitive costs that are now starting to be more reasonable. those on the market are all cultivars bred for at least a few decades, descendants of the first collections of seeds from botanists and passionate travelers.

the tropical Arisaema on the other hand, they cannot be found on the market (I was able to use two different species through private collectors). they have very particular characteristics, which I will deal with individually in a subsequent thematic sheet.

CLIMATE

They are plants suitable for cool and humid climates, alpine (many come from the Himalayan mountain range, others from North American countries with absolutely freezing winter temperatures) or continental. therefore they do not fear frost and we can say that all of them endure, if protected by a good layer of mulch, winter temperatures of at least -15 ° C (for many species even beyond).

several factors contribute to the tolerance of winter cold: the planting depth of the tuber which must be about 20-30 cm in the soil (especially for large species), i.e. below the freezing level, which, however, must be be counterbalanced by considerable drainage. in fact, if fertile and humid soil is very welcome during the growing season, in winter the worst enemy is the soil soaked in water which causes the tuber to rot.

the ideal is to plant the rhizomes in large raised beds (even 40 cm) from the ground level, on the bottom of which gravel and river sand will have been inserted, mixing a mixture of fragments of volcanic lava (you can buy it from many florists or shops of aquariums), of pine bark, peat, leaf soil, sand (not alkaline!) or perlite, and covering with a good state of pine needles or araucaria quills: a "soup" very welcome by my arisaema because it is nourishing , moist but excellently draining!

in winter these flower beds will be covered with a good layer of mulch. excellent for this purpose are pine needles and bark, maple, beech and elm leaves (i.e. leaves not affected by fungal diseases: discard apple trees and roses, often affected by many varieties of harmful fungi, but also chestnut whose tannin released is able to sterilize the earth until even the grass no longer grows!).

another solution is to plant the tubers on sloping coasts of earth (such as those that form the "terraces" in the mountains), ie on the raised side of a slope (always at least 20 cm deep), which will allow the soil to drain, even when it consisted of clayey soil.

the arisaema will have to enjoy the summer protection offered by the growth of tall bushes (ideal are the Buddleja davidii, the Philadelphus, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons), thanks to their dense foliage, and that even in winter (especially the evergreen heather) shelter from the icy wind. snow and ice are not enemies to be feared, if anything, under their mantle they retain less rigid temperatures than those of the air above. the planting depth must not be excessive because the flower stem in many species is not long enough to ... OTHERWISE EMERGE FROM THE SOIL! in this way there is literally a flowering UNDERGROUND, which obviously we cannot appreciate, it is useful for the plant which becomes more subject to rot.

it is not impossible to breed them in Southern Italy or in the islands but this requires particular dedication and therefore love for these creatures. during the vegetative period they do not tolerate drought and this is obviously the first problem to be faced.

in addition, excessive heat can cause them to sprout early, slowing growth, anticipating the decay of the foliar apparatus and therefore the development of the tuber occurs more slowly (and consequently it becomes more difficult to obtain flowering).

direct sunlight, which only in very cool (mountain) environments can be tolerated for a few hours (in the morning or in the evening) must be absolutely avoided in order not to cause serious burns to the leaves.

GROUND

they are the most suitable plants for shady and humid environments.

they can also grow in heavy soils (clayey) but in this case it is necessary that there is never water stagnation in winter, otherwise these wonderful creatures will be lost.

like the earth orchids, they need a soil that tends to be acidic or at most neutral. absolutely impossible to grow them in alkaline soil and even less in pots if watered with calcareous water.

they can be grown in pots but the difficulties increase considerably due to the impossibility of maintaining a chemical-physical balance suitable for their growth, of the soil. moreover, the pots must be protected from the winter frost which, coming from all surfaces, can more easily damage the tubers.

ideal would be to extract them from the ground every autumn and store them in a mixture of peat and slightly moist sand in the… refrigerator, to plant them again in spring.

in this case the use of plastic pots (which do not allow the transpiration of the soil) involves the CERTAINTY of the decomposition of the tuber, which cannot tolerate in any way the stagnation of humidity or condensation of hot steam in the summer with fermentation and " boiling "of the whole root system.

this should be a rule for all geophytes (bulbous) that suffer more than other plants the plastic pot due to their delicate nature.

FERTILIZATION

it must be in the same doses as earth orchids, that is, absolutely moderate. it is sufficient to decompose the mulch and possibly some administration of fertilizer for orchids, diluted, only at the end of flowering, i.e. when the plant most needs nutrients to replenish the rhizome (the vegetative system, as well as the inflorescence grow at the expense of the tuber) and eventually bear fruit, if pollinated. absolutely to avoid fertilizers of animal origin (ox blood, manure and the like), too rich in nitrogen, which lead to the decomposition of the tubers in a very short time.

MAIN SPECIES

Arisaema Thunbergii Urashima

originating from Japan and Korea, planted with earth orchids and trillium, in the shade of camellias, paeonias and an American tree blueberry. of medium height (40-60 cm), it is the first, among the arisaema, to emerge from the ground which is still "empty" due to the presence of other plants. the flower emerges with the only leaf (the others that branch off from the ground are numerous bulbils that it emits as it grows from year to year, so as to form a large group over time) which opens completely over a longer period. if the climate is mild it blooms as early as February. at the end of May the plant loses flower and leaves and goes into dormancy.

in effect, its vegetative cycle coincides with that of crocus and snowdrop. thus the same space will be used by plants whose germination and growth is subsequent, with the advantage of continuing to absorb water from the soil. It is always problematic to plant bulbous plants: if alone (for example in a pot) at the end of the vegetative cycle they should no longer be watered to avoid the risk of rotting the bulbs or rhizomes. at the same time there is a risk that the soil dries up excessively, losing the essential properties (ability to retain moisture and useful bacteria) for the life of plants. I always recommend planting any bulbous in the pot of other plants, preferably with a vegetative cycle following theirs. so these new ones, during their growth, will absorb water and nutrients from the earth, preventing stagnation and therefore the rotting of the bulbs, but guaranteeing the soil not to lose its characteristics of "living matter" as it is.

Arisaema Sikokianum

(photo below)

that grow protected by a Kniphofia Caulescens. also this curious creature, with a height ranging from 30 to 60 cm, is among the first to grow and its vegetative cycle is just one month longer than that of Urashima.

its shape, so curious and particular, makes it one of the most sought after (and most expensive ...). of Japanese origin, in its homeland it is called with curious nicknames (like rice cake, due to the central "balloon" that makes it look more like an original "ice cream cone" than a flower).

group of Arisaema Ciliatum var. Liubaense

(photo below)

growing in the shade of a rose bush. they have splendid foliage that lasts all summer. the plants, from China, grow in late March-April. it is one of the tallest (it exceeds one meter in height in adult plants) and one of the most prolific.

it receives without delay the pollen of any other arisaema with which it crosses (for now I have no photos of the hybrids blooms: there will be updates ...). they produce brightly colored fruits that ripen between September and October, made up of thousands of "grains" containing a few seeds each (see the last two photographs).

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Video: Arisaema ringens Leaf and Inflorescence Emergence Timelapse


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