A poisonous little beauty

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THIS little beauty is one of three I planted last weekend – Arum italicum Marmoratum.

Quite a mouthful (not advised as it’s extremely poisonous) but a stunning tuberous perennial for semi-shade.

The gorgeous, exotic-looking veined leves are kept throught winter. These die down just as the likes of hostas come into leaf and are often planted together.

A typical “hooded” arum lily-type flower follows in spring, in pale yellow or greenish-yellow, followed by stalks covered with orange-red berries in autumn. Oddly, the new leaves also start to appear at this time.

Marmoratum grows to a maximum height of 50cm, with a similar spread.

Even though it’s toxic, there don’t seem to be any documented cases of poisonings and pets seem to have a natural instinct to avoid them. Still, if in doubt, don’t plant.