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Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other= Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other=
Wed Jul 11 05:09:43 CEST 2001

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From: Ellen Hornig <hornig at OSWEGO.EDU>
Subject: Re: Arisaema triphyllum (was"weed")
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Ellen was going to write in to reaffirm her undying admiration for this
"weed", but Jim McClements did such a good job that further praise would
be redundant.

I *will* add that Jim's black-and-white striped form is actually the
predominant one here in our woods.  The stripes continue uninterrupted th=e
full length of the spathe (i.e. right down to the base), and in the very
best individuals show through to the outside of the spathe (I believe thi=s
is the form often referred to as "zebrinum"). The contrast is
clean and bright.  This summer my husband found me a gorgeous specimen
that not only has this stunning inflorescence, but has deep purple stems
and pedicels, and a purple flush to the leaf around the midrib.  From the
same woods I have, however, collected pure green-spathed specimens, and
others that appear to be crosses between ssp. triphyllum and
ssp. stewardsonii.  The latter have *slightly* raised ridges (my straight
stewardsoniis have very prominent raised ridges on the exterior of the
spathe, reaching all the way to the base; the assumed crosses have ridges
which can be felt easily where the spathe curves forward, but not
extending all the way to the base).

When Tom Stuart mentioned his disappearing triphyllums, I immediately
wondered whether he has wild turkeys in the area.  Wild turkeys eat
triphyllums - they really do, raphides or not.  Triphyllums are listed in
one of our nature guides (can find a reference if someone really cares) a=s
a food source for turkeys, and our triphyllum population has dwindled
precipitously in the last few years as our turkey population has soared,
so to speak.  I have found the remnants of turkey triphyllum feasts, in
the form of mangled plants strewn around the forest floor.  This allays
any guilt I might feel over moving the occasional gorgeous specimen to my
gardens, which remain - for the moment - turkey-free.

I probably grow more A. consanguineum than do most people, so feel
comfortable pointing out that this too is a delightfully variable
species.  Leaflets can range from wide to pencil-thin, have straight or
ruffled edges, be deep green or more yellow-green, and exhibit narrow or
wide, distinct or blurred, silver centers.  I have all of these
variations; and the very best one I have (will have enough to sell by nex=t
year, I hope - they do form offsets with some enthusiasm) has a glaucous
bluish leaf with a pronounced silver center - absolutely to die for.  I'v=e
been so busy admiring the foliar variation of this species that I haven't
yet paid much attention to the inflorescences.  Hmmm.  Oh, add to the
above menu the presence or absence of "drip tips" on the leaf.  Definitel=y
a cool species.

As to arisaemas being weedy, my habitual use of nursery compost (largely
the contents of "dead" pots) in gardens has led to aroids of every
description popping up unexpectedly all over the place.  I have all manne=r
of arisaemas (triphyllum, consanguineum, candidissimum, fargesii, and a
few I haven't yet identified), pinellias, sauromatums and arums strewn
about in the gardens.  This family really is a bit of a menace.....

Guess I've gone on long enough here.  If anyone has great forms of
A. triphyllum that they'd like to trade, feel free to e-mail me

Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 County Route 57
Oswego, New York 13126 USA
USDA zone 5B (mintemps -10 to -20F)
Phone:(315) 342-5915
Fax: (315) 342-5573

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