Italian Arum Back From The Dead…

The last photo of the Arum italicum (Italian Arum) was taken on 6-1-13, #151-18.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Spring is always an exciting time of the year waiting to see what comes back up and what hasn’t survived the winter. The anxiety is ridiculous especially with our mild temps this year.

I was surprised, actually quite shocked, on February 15. I was just kind of looking around to see if any wildflowers had started blooming yet. The temps were milder than average and the Crocus started blooming several weeks earlier than usual. I dug around in the leaves in the shade bed and noticed several Hosta have sprouted, but they are still very cautious. The Lamium purpureum were all still dead except in the sun along the garage and between the back deck and basement steps. Some of them were already blooming. The daffodils and Surprise Lilies were up and running as well. Now the daffodils are starting to bud. I noticed most of the Ajuga ‘Chocolate’ Chip’ next to the elm tree in the shade bed pretty much fizzled out over the winter. Like non-existent! I decided to check on the ones along the chicken house to see if they were still OK. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the bulbs that always come up in the shade bed by the hundreds that have survived since my grandparents lived here. I have not properly identified them…

What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks…

Arum italicum (Italian Arum) on 2-15-23, #929-2.

Could it be? The only Aroids I planted along the north side of the chicken house were a few Arum italicum (Italian Arum/Lords and Ladies) in 2013. I brought them with me from Mississippi when I moved back to the family farm since they were supposedly winter-hardy in this zone.

Arum italicum are a little weird in that they are summer dormant and come back up in September and grow all winter. In 2013, they did fine all spring, then did the usual dormancy deal in the summer. They came back up in September or October just fine. However, being in zone 6 in Missouri, they also go dormant in the winter and need a covering of leaves for protection. But, they didn’t come back up in 2014…

Arum italicum (Italian Arum) on 3-5-23, #934-1.

I went out to look around again on Sunday (March 5) and saw the Italian Arum, at least that’s what I think it is, has grown a second leaf…

It is so weird it would come up after being dead for 10 years! I remember when I was in Mississippi I had several Colocasia and Alocasia I was trying. I had them in pots and several died… Completely died with the rhizomes shriveled up and dry. I stacked the pots up only to find a few had somehow come back up. This has happened to other plants as well. I always said, “Just because it is dead doesn’t mean it is dead.”

Basically, everything else is still the same. The perennials are still cautious for the most part. The Achillea millefolium has been growing new leaves basically all winter. The Creeping Jenny is working on it, and the fern called Ebony Spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron) never did go dormant. Weird. That’s the one that came up in the north bed from out of nowhere in 2021. I didn’t take any photos of it until 2022 because I thought it was a figment of my imagination.

Anyway, spring feels like it is here some days and feels like fall on others. The evening temps are still too cool for the most part for most plants to start popping up. I noticed on Sunday the Veronica persicaria (Bird’s Eye Speedwell) is now blooming up a storm. They are usually the first to bloom, but they are a hair late here. This time the Lamium purpureum (Dead Nettle) wins the prize for being the first.

Well, I better close for now. It is almost 1:30 AM!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive, and always be thankful. Spring is right around the corner.

10 comments on “Italian Arum Back From The Dead…

  1. Dayphoto says:

    YAY! I always find interesting things to learn when I visit your blog! I am so ready for Spring—it still feels like winter here. BUT!!! We finally have sunlight again:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello again Sir, I read this article with particular interest as I have just managed to coax an Arum italicum to grow completely through our just completed Summer here in Australia. I decided to attempt preventing the arum from going Summer dormant by growing it under & between Colocasia ‘Milky Way’ and C. ‘Pharoah’s Mask’ after noticing a fairly large specimen growing in late Spring at someone else’s place under shadecloth in a fernery. This gave me a challenge which I gladly accepted and proudly won! The inspiration being that I am trying to grow it to a much larger size (the other one under cloth was approximately 2 foot tall , nearly as wide. Now my attentions turn to attempting a cross between this and Zantedeschia aethiopica this coming winter, if I am successful, I’ll let you know. I enjoy reading your articles, particularly those on Colocasia, my favorite genus.
    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Bruce! That is very interesting! For now, I am just hoping it survives until the real spring gets here. Please let me know how it progresses and what happens with your attempt to cross it with a Calla. That would be very interesting. It is always fun to experiment! I am glad you enjoyed reading about the Colocasia. They are among my favorites as well. Take care and thanks for the comment!


      • Bruce Dowell says:

        I think if you can cover it, even with some shadecloth if there are not any over hanging plants and you keep the soil moist around it, you may get it through, as from this Summer’s experience, having the overhanging plants provide sun protection and being in my perma wet colocasia bog with wet roots, it got through no worries. Give that a go and good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The area the Arum is growing gets very little sun in the morning and that’s about it. Maybe a little in the late afternoon. The soil is pretty much always damp except in periods where there is no rain in the summer.


  3. rmkinder says:

    I love this—it came back! I’m not a gardener, as I’ve told you, but occasionally something I’ve planted comes back—and in a different place. Wonderful surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Rose Marie! I am glad to hear from you. It is so weird when that happens! Many wildflower seeds last for YEARS and come up once the conditions are right (or the coast is clear), but this is from a rhizome! It has been very cold the past several days, and it is still fine. I hope you are doing well. I have thought about you off and on, but have failed miserably to check your site. Take care and thanks for the comment!


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