The Arum italicum is a genus from the Araceae family and is commonly named Italian arum. Other common names are Italian lords and ladies, Italian lily, orange candle flower and cuckoo’s pint. The Italian arum is native to wooded areas in central and southern Europe and northern Africa.
The leaves of the Arum italicum appear at the end of August and stay above ground during the winter. During very cold winters the leaves may die and new leaves will emerge in spring. This is different from Arum maculatum because those leaves always appear in spring.
The leaves of the Arum Italicum may have white or yellow-white veins or light spots but may also be completely green. If the marking of the leaves is important to you it is best to buy this plant with leaves on it. That way you will be certain that you buy what you want.
The flowers appear in spring. They do not have much ornamental value but are characteristic. The bract (spathe) is light green and the finger-like spadix is light yellow. The nice thing about the Italian arum is what comes after bloom. The leaves and the spathe die back and what remains is the spadix which develops tight, oblong clusters of berries. At first the berries are green but later they will turn orange. These berries are poisonous.
The Arum italicum is tuberous perennial and it spreads through rhizomes that form new tubers. The Italian arum also spreads by the seeds within in the orange berries.
The Italian arum produces bigger leaves in the shade and more flowers in the sun. This way you can choose what is most important to you and pick the right spot in the garden.
The Arum italicum is tolerant to salt and wet soil, but is also tolerant to drought.
Attracts bees: no
Characteristic: newly emerging every year
Exposure: part shade/shade
Flower colour: green/yellow
Flowering time: April – May
Foliage colour: green
Fragrant flower: no
Hardiness: -20 ºC (-4 ºF)
Height: 12 inches (30 cm)