Common Name: Italian arum
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green to creamy white spathe
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil
Best grown in humusy, organically rich, consistently moist soils in part shade to full shade. Not reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where it should be planted in a protected location. New leaves emerge in autumn and are evergreen in warm winter climates. However, in cold winter climates such as the St. Louis area, the leaves die in winter with new leaves emerging in early spring. In all climates, foliage goes dormant in summer.
Arum italicum, sometimes commonly called Italian arum, is a stemless woodland species native to Europe. Typically grows 12-18" tall. It resembles our native Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema tryphyllum). Each flower consists of (1) an erect, finger-like spadix covered with minute, creamy white flowers and (2) a large, sheath-like, light green spathe (bract) which subtends and partially envelops the spadix like a hood. Flowers produced in spring. Arrowhead-shaped, long-petioled, glossy grayish-green leaves with pale green midribs are 8-12" long. After bloom, the leaves and spathe die back leaving only the thick spadix which develops attractive, bright orange-red berries in summer. New leaves emerge in autumn and remain evergreen in warm winter climates but die back in cold winter climates such as St. Louis where they emerge again in early spring. All parts of this plant are toxic.
Subsp. italicum includes the type strain of the species.
Genus name comes from aron the Greek name for these poisonous plants which are closely related to the American jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema).
'Marmoratum' (now considered synonymous with 'Pictum') is a cultivar that features arrowhead-shaped, long-petioled, dark green to gray-green leaves (8-12” long) that are mottled and blotched, particularly along the veins, with light yellowish-green to creamy white variegation. 'Marmoratum' and 'Pictum' have, over the years, been sold by many nurseries as separate plants.
No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage goes dormant in summer.
Woodland gardens and shaded border areas.