Arum italicum (Italian Arum, Orange Candleflower)

Native to the Mediterranean region in Europe, Italian Arum are low-lying herbaceous perennials which lose their foliage in the summer (similar to cyclamen). Although sometimes grown in gardes, these may be invasive in some regions.

Arum italicum (Italian Arum, Orange Candleflower)
Deciduous: Yes, foliage dissapears entirely in summer. In the colder portion of its range, foliage may emerge in autumn, die in winter, emerge in spring, and die before summer.
Hardiness Zones: 5-9
Height: to 45 centimeters (18 inches) tall
Diameter: individually to 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide, may form wider colonies
Growth Rate: moderate to fast
Age: perennial, flowering after 5 years on average
Root System: Thick roots, attached to the rhizome/tuber/corm, serve as anchorage and produce numerous smaller roots.
Family: Araceae
Subspecies: subsp. italicum, albispathum, canariense, neglectum
Tolerates: heavy shade, very moist/wet soil, drought once established, sandy/light and clay/heavy soils
Problems (major): toxic
Problems (minor): These are potentially invasive in some regions of the United States.
Poisonous: yes, all parts toxic
Soil requirements: prefers consistently moist, nutrient-rich soils
Air requirements: not sufficiently researched
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: part-shade to full shade
Leaf shape: sagittate (arrow-shaped) with long petioles, dark green with gray-green markings
Leaf size: commonly to 20 centimeters tall and wide
Stem: none, entirely herbaceous with only petioles
Flowering structure: Cream-white inflorescence have tiny yellow flowers atop a peduncle, to 16 centimeters (6.5 inches) tall. The spathe (to 38 centimeters (15 inches) tall) eventually dies back when orange fruits become visible. The fruits remain over summer and mature in August and September in most regions.Self-pollination has not been observed.
Flowering frequency: May
Subterranean storage organ: rhizomatous tuber/corm
Notable characteristics:
The foliage is concealed in summer.

These are occasionally grown as ornamentals for the unique designs on their winter foliage.

Sources used:

Foliage in January at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

A small colony of Italian Arums forming a makeshift mat on a forest floor

Arum_italicum_3 A small specimen at Missouri Botanical Garden

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.


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