[Arisaema-l] A. sikokianum persistence

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney at verizon.net
Thu Apr 19 23:21:24 CEST 2012

Barry wrote "Voles and other animals will not touch most arisaema corms, but sikokianum is unfortunately an exception. "

Do any of you know if Arisaema sikokianum is consumed by people in Japan? Is it, in effect, a low calcium oxalate form developed in gardens for use as a food crop for humans? 

When I was a kid I knew the local wild Arisaema triphyllum as "Indian turnips" - and I had read that they can be consumed if they are first boiled (with several changes of water?). I never tried them, mostly because I had heard too many stories about people eating Dieffenbachia. 

And if A. sikokianum arose in cultivation, is there a wild species which is close to it and still has the full compliment ofcalcium oxalate rhapides (or wild forms of A. sikokianum with high calcium oxalate levels )? If so, maybe we should think about back crossing the best, most ornamental garden forms with this wild form to restore the calcium oxalate levels to cultivated plants. Then I'll bet the voles would leave them alone. 

Jim McKenney
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