Our Arisaema Intro

S.& R. Illingworth illingwr at AIR.ON.CA
Tue Apr 8 02:46:22 CEST 1997

When our membership on this list was announced, Ray asked that we share our
experience in growing at our location. Our signature block describes our
growing conditions. Cold. Usually reliable deep snow coverage provides an
advantage over gardeners 300 miles south. Some years the soil never appears
to really freeze. This year the coldest we had without snow was -18C
although that was a more or less steady temperature over several days. The
disadvantage is that we still have that snow, but it will be gone shortly,
and we have never had damaging frosts once the growing season finally gets
underway. Our marker plants for this are the martagon lilies that have never
been knocked down by late frosts.  Yes, we know there will be a first time
for that too.

Our first experience was of course A. triphyllum from seed collected in
Minnesota. They all germinated and now it is a bit of a weed. We collect the
fruit of this plant to stop it seeding around. We have 210 acres and have
been broadcasting seed in different places.

The other plants are all considered as experiments.  A. flavum has proved to
be hardy but never appears much before July 1 and then blooms within 10
days.  Our short season doesn't give us much seed.  I think we have about
250 flavum seedlings in community pots wintering in the root cellar. I plan
to pot them on when the weather warms and the snow melts. I also plan to do
this with our ACE seedlings with the intention of planting most in the
garden this coming fall.

We continue to experiment.  All of the plants listed are outside in the
garden unless indicated.

Arisaema amurense - SRGC 93 - one plant - flowered
ciliatum - 2nd winter, seed from Morley, U.K.
consanguineum - immature, 2 winters, seed from Morley
flavum - HPS 94 - sets seeds if long frost-free autumn, several
plants            in garden, plus lots of seedlings being wintered inside
ringens - first winter outside, one plant
sikokianum - a couple of seedlings outside, lots wintering inside,
some of which have already bloomed
triphyllum - lots, mature, sets seeds
The following are all still in their seedpots, wintering in our cold cellar:
cf consanguineum ACE 2036
mixed ACE 2101
sp. ACE 111
sp. ACE 2031
consanguineum ACE 1657
sp. ACE 1949

Last spring we had a curious experience with one A.ciliatum.  There were
signs that a vole had tunneled during the winter right through the spot
where it had been planted.  We thought that that was the end of it, but to
our surprise it came up - down slope about 2' from its original spot.

This spring we have had a number of A. sikokianum flowers that have made an
excellent show on the kitchen counter. As the last bloom faded we noticed
what appeared to be pollen lying at the bottom of a spathe. This was dusted
into the convenient flower of an A. triphyllum (a southern form which we
were given during the winter) and today we noticed that there is the first
evidence of maturing seed! ?  Do these plants hybridize this easily?  Or
would it have self-pollinated?

near Thunder Bay, Ontario
Min -40C/-40F with snow
Min without snow -20C/-4F
Max 30C/86F, rarely higher
Frost free days 110 on average

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