I think I might be a day late, but I am joining in with the favourite plant of the week meme at Danger Garden as it seems appropriate with such a sinister looking plant as this weird Arisaema which is known as The Striped Cobra Lily. It looks pretty dangerous to me with its long whip like tail.
It has a lovely striped, purple and white hood with a long appendage to the spadix. The actual flowers are tiny and hidden at the base of the spadix.
Arisaeamas are not exactly beautiful but they are weirdly fascinating. They are also peculiar in the way that they change sex as they grow. The first inflorescence will have male flowers. In subsequent years it will have female flowers. Once successfully pollinated the seed production will exhaust the plant and it will go back to being male. I think the word for this is monoecious. Correct me if I am wrong, I only learnt the word a few weeks ago.
The attractive, trifoliate or three lobed leaves are quite large.
Arisaemas like woodland conditions and this one is hardy as long as you protect it in winter with a thick mulch. It is a good idea to mark where you have planted them because they disappear entirely when they have finished flowering. I always worry that I have lost them but when they appear they grow very quickly. I have planted this Arisaema under my lovely Forest Pansy Cercis canadensis as the beautiful purple colour of the spathe matches the colour of the leaves.
I am not sure that this really is my favourite plant this week, how could it be when the roses are in bloom? But it certainly is the weirdest. Perhaps there should be a weirdest plant of the week meme. If you go over to to Loree at Danger Garden you can find an even weirder plant. Her crested Sedum: Sedum ochroleucum is very peculiar.