(Arum italicum)

Perennial
A. neglectum. A. modicense. A. numidicum.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Arum italicum
Araceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Tuber – cooked and used as a vegetable[2, 177]. An arrowroot can be extracted from the dried root[105]. The root 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]. Succeeds in sun or dry shade[90], preferring a shady position[4, 17, 31] and growing well in woodland conditions[1]. A polymorphic species[200], the British form has been separated off by some botanists as A. neglectum[17]. The leaves appear in the autumn, the plant staying green all winter[1, K]. The inflorescence 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].
Southern Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa.

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.