A New Plant


     Ever since we moved into this rental house in mid-May, I have been watching a plant, unknown to me, go through its bloom cycle.  I have been photographing since May.  It seems like it is finally done now.  I researched it on the internet.  It is Arum italicum, or commonly known as Italian arum, Lords-and-Ladies, or orange candleflower.

     It is a woodland species native to western and southern Europe.  Its leaves are similar to a caladium, and resembles our native Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  All are in the same family Araceae, but each is a different genus.  Arum italicum grows in zones 5 to 9.

Arum italicum flower

     According to sites on the internet, it flowers April to May.  Each flower consists of a spadix (a fleshy spike) with minute, creamy flowers enclosed within a light green bract or spathe.

After blooming, the spadix develops green berries.

the leaves die off

The berries start turning orange

The orange berries last for weeks
The stalks have dried up and fallen over now

     The plant grows in part shade to shade and is deer resistant.  All parts of the plant are considered poisonous and skin irritations will develop from root juices.  In warm climates new leaves emerge in autumn and are evergreen.  The plant has three-season botanical interest in that it has leaves in winter (in warm climates), flowers in spring, and berries in summer.  The inflorescense of this plant, like many plants in this family, is thermogenic or heat producing.  This heat helps to convey the scent to attract insects to pollinate the plant and rewards them with heat energy.


  1. This plant looks like a keeper to me, but do you like it enough to grow it again next year?

    1. I don't particularly like this plant. It just happened to be growing here. A large massing of them might look better.