Arisaema sikokianum – Jack in the Pulpit

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Arisaema – Jack in the Pulpit

There are around 150 species of spring or summer flowering tuberous or rhizomatous perennial from moist woodland and rocky wastelands from the Himalayas, China, Japan, and North America, in this genus.  Grown for their attractive unusually spathes.  They bear 1 or 2 simple, palmately lobed or palmate mid green leaves per shoot.  Dense clusters of spherical to oblong, red to orange berries, follow flowers.

When grown indoors plant in deep clay containers in equal parts of loam, leaf mold, and grit in bright indirect light.  Water freely during growing season and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.  During dormancy keep cool and barely moist.

When grown outdoors, grow in moist but well drained in neutral to acidic, humus rich soil in a cool partially shaded site.  Will tolerate moderate to severe frost.

Prone to slug, vine weevils, rust, anthracnose, leaf blight, (Streptobotrys), and dasheen mosaic virus.

Arisaema sikokianum – This widely cultivated tuberous perennial from Japan grows to 12-20” tall.  It produces 2 palmate leaves, one with 3 the other with 5 lobed divisions, ovate leaflets, 2-6” long.  The leaves may be variegated with silver.  In spring it bears a large purple-brown spathe, 6-8” long, which open at the mouth, revealing a white spadix.

Zones 4-9