Yes, its been awhile! Been busy the past month: recuperating from next thing to pneumonia, planting up four odd thousand Pelargonium and assorted bedding plants, hanging baskets and containers, and waiting ever so patiently for Spring to decided that she wants to grace us with her presence – for longer than a three day stretch! Oh yeah, and I’ve also been growing a serpent in my room! Now before you go to an entirely inappropriate place, let me explain…..
Meet Arisaema griffithii – my latest obsession in what is one of my Top Three favourite genera! Our native A. triphyllum was the very first plant that I learned to recognize during walks in the ‘Darkling Wood’ with my Grandparents, and over the years I have steadily grown more fascinated with their serpentine beauty!
Perhaps the most sinister and hard to describe within the genus, it emerged from the ground like a giant claw! At first I was worried that I was going to witness the birth of a dragon [in no small part thanks to the over active imagination inspired by GoT] but alas, no. You can make out the distinct spathe nestled among the tall, sturdy foliage in the photo above. The rubbery sheath in the background was a stunning opalescent silvery pearl like purple. It reminded me of a recently discarded skin – more snakishly serpentine than dragonesque!
Like all within the genus, it has a long thin spadix that looks like a tongue! Its spathe is a stunning presence: It seems to want to curve down over itself, giving it a rounded appearance. I want to describe its coloration as a deep wine with lime green and white stripes and mottling, but this truly is a case where words cannot but fail.
As with most of my most beloved, he is not reliably hardy here – I have read posts about it being hardy in Zone 7 – and as such he is going to live in a pot for the season, and spend the winter months in a newly installed ‘plant’ fridge. He came to be as a large bulb, at least the size of my fist, and I have noticed that some of my other blogging friends have bought it as well.
Is anyone else familiar with this serpentine beauty? Do tell! Hoping that this weekend brings warmer weather. I am three weeks behind in my own garden, not to mention the outdoor perennial, tree and shrub section at work. It might be mid May before I am able to return, but fear not.
Awesome congrats to Grace on the recent publication of her new gardening memoir – waiting for mine to ship from Amazon!