This beautiful Arum is flowering for the first time for me. I have had it for five years and I had given up hope that it would ever bloom. Perhaps it is as a result of a mild winter we have had. Or maybe it appreciated the bit of bonemeal I gave it in the Autumn. It likes a sunny sheltered spot.
I saw it in bloom in Crete in May some years ago and fell for its large primrose yellow spathes. The other Arum which seems common in Crete is the sinister looking Arum dracunculus with its deep purple evil smelling flowers. (Actually arums don’t have flowers they have ‘inflorescences’.) The spadix which smells of rotting meat attracts flies which pollinate it.
Arum creticum smells sweet so presumably it attracts different insects to pollinate it. It has a lemony scent. It has a lovely yellow spathe which curls back on itself and a darker yellow, long spadix. I remember years ago seeing it grown at Great Dixter with the lovely orange, lily-flowered Tulipa ‘Queen of Sheba’. I love this tulip and it goes on blooming year after year.
I’m not so keen on Christopher Lloyd’s orange and yellow colour scheme though. I think I would prefer Arum creticum with a nice skirt of sky blue forgetmenots, Muscari or the darker blue Omphalodes. I would have planned this if I had known it would flower this year. It has some yellow fringed tulips nearby but I think it will probably be over by the time they are in bloom.
The arrow shaped leaves appear in autumn and carry on growing through the winter. The whole plant disappears in summer. I put a small stick in the ground to remember where it is so that I don’t spear it with my fork. The wild Arum is a weed in my garden which seeds everywhere but I don’t think Arum creticum seeds around so obligingly. I believe some people grow it in a pot in the greenhouse. I might risk dividing this summer and trying that.
However you grow it, I thoroughly recommend this beautiful plant to give the border a bit of excitement in April.