Arisaema ringens
Common Name: arisaema 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Araceae
Native Range: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Green and purple striped spathe with a yellow and white spadix
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil

Culture

Best grown in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Needs consistent moisture. Does poorly in heavy clay soils. Plant tubers about 3-4" deep. May be grown from seed, but may take 3-5 years before plants will flower.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Arisaema ringens, commonly called cobra lily, is a tuberous woodland perennial that is native to Japan. It is closely related to the Jack-in-the-pulpit that is native to eastern North America (Arisaema triphyllum). It typically grows to 12-18" tall. Each tuber produces a single stalk containing two glossy green trifoliate leaves, with each leaf having three ovate to elliptic leaflets (to 6-8" long). From the center of the leaf stalks rises a cobra-like flower in spring. Each flower consists of a showy, green and purple striped spathe (to 4-6" tall) with a hood that covers the inner yellow to white flower spike known as the spadix. Stalks, leaves, flowers and fruits give this plant a tropical aura. Plants go dormant in summer after flowering, except hermaphroditic flowering plants will produce a cluster of red berries in mid to late summer which become visible as the spathe withers. Roots contain calcium oxalate (same chemical as in Diffenbachia or dumb cane) and are poisonous.

Genus name comes from Greek words aris meaning arum and aima meaning red in reference to the red-blotched leaves found on some species.

Specific epithet means gaping as having an open mouth.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Plant in groups. Best left undisturbed in shady woodland gardens, wild gardens or native plant areas.