(Arum dioscoridis)

Perennial
A. hygrophyllum. Boiss.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Arum dioscoridis
Araceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is abortifacient[61].

  • Edible Use

    Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable[2, 61, 105, 177]. It must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe[134]. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15¡c[134]. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering[200]. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.
Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season[1]. Grows well in woodland conditions[1]. Succeeds in sun or shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10¡c[200]. Because it comes into growth in the late autumn it is best grown by a warm wall or in a bulb frame[90] A polymorphic species[200]. The inflorescence is pollinated by flies and it smells of dung and carrion in order to attract the flies[200]. It also has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch[4]. This probably protects the flowers from damage by frost, or allows it to penetrate frozen ground. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
S. Europe and N. Africa – E. Mediterranean.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.