17 Apr 2014

Growing Me A Serpent!


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…..

972327_10202610947847869_824271155732805354_nMeet 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!

1661572_10202628278521125_3224753576440360689_n1506892_10202641426249810_3325881843817853323_nPerhaps 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!

1779144_10202653417829592_722124983846657487_n   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. 10151820_10202653418669613_4055669797524964424_n (1)

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!



Becky said...

Glad to see you are still growing the weird and wonderful.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Sweetie I have meant to send a long e-mail to you but I too have fallen behind because of so many events going on here.
Sorry you have been so sick ... hot toddies? all round I say!
This is an awesome plant and can you believe I still don't have one in my garden ? ... I have to work on that!
Isn't it too cool about Gracie and her books? .. I think it is wonderful !! We know some one famous!! LOL
Take care of yourself and I will some time write a decent e-mail for you : )

gardenbug said...

Welcome back! I too just added a post after a loooong absence. Shame on us....


Oh Barry, I know how you love those pelargoniums and bedding plants. Ha, ha.

I have been meaning to write and tell you that my Melittis melissophyllum is blooming. Every time I look at it I'm so pleased that I have it. I have you to thank for that. Such plant nerds, aren't we? :) Enjoy your spring!

Barbarapc said...

So sorry to hear that you've been under the weather....and such lovely weather it has been, n o t . Finally directing my attention to the garden, have been moored at my desk and so neglectful of my plants - you've inspired me to get going with my exotic creatures. Visiting Loblaw at the TBG today. Much smaller event, but glad to be included. Take very good care.

gardenbug said...

And now I see the shredded umbrella plants! Mine are planted in a container with Himalayan Maidenhair Fern.
I have been asked for hostas for a garden...and will be digging away this weekend. The perfecrt time for this activity.
The Anemonopsis macrophylla is rising now! And I love the emerging leaves of Veratrum Nigrum too!