ARACEAE Arisaema candidissimum
This is a very beautiful and unique form of Arisaema and it’s the first time I have been able to see it in the flesh, and I have been involved with horticulture for close to 6 years.
Arisaema candidissimum is a tuberous perennial which grows to a height of 0.5 -1 metres and also has a spread of 0.5 – 1 metres. The foliage is arranged in ovate leaflets, which sit alongside the impressive flowers. The flowers appear as hooded spathes which are white in colour with pale pink stripes. The flowers don’t carry a scent but hold for an impressive amount of time and they also make beautiful cut flowers. But for me the foliage is what I find the most exciting; the way the foliage is arranged on the long stalks and the green glossy texture of the leaves is very beautiful.
Arisaema candidissimum thrives in well-drained soils with good amounts of organic and humus matter. They prefer to be protected from heavy winds whilst enjoying either part shaded or full sun position. Early spring right through to summer is the main growing season, thus allowing the plant to produce new foliage, flowers and strong new roots. Arisaema candidissimum will go dormant during the winter months, thus resulting in the plant dying back to nothing then re-emerging in the spring.
The tubers don’t like to be water logged, due to the possible chance of rot. But if they become excessively dry they can remain dormant. It is best to start watering when they show signs of growth towards the end of the winter season.
If you ever wish to divide these tubers its best to do so in late winter to early spring, because this will reduce the chances of rot and it’s the prime time for the growth. Once you have divided the tubers use some Seasol or Plant Starter to help encourage new roots and some growth. But just remember Seasol in not a fertilizer it’s a plant tonic, so it’s fantastic when transplanting or establishing new plants.
If you have the Arisaema candidissimum planted in a pot it is best to use a slow realise fertilizer that will give a good feed for about 3-4 months. If they are planted in the ground the best form of feed to use would be a liquid fertilizer diluted in water. When mulching make sure to mulch lightly around the plant and don’t smother the plant, if the mulch is applied to heavily it may cause rotting.
The lucky thing about these plants is that they aren’t known to suffer from diseases or pest all that often. The only pest that can cause them to look a little sad is slugs and snails, but by placing down sawdust or by using snail pellets you can deter or kill off these pests, but if you have any pets make sure to get the animal friendly repellent (Multiguard Snail and Slug pellets).
By Bonnie-Mare Hibbs
©The Gardeners Notebook