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Plant Profile: Lords and Ladies (Arum italicum) ‘Marmoratum’

Arum italicum fruitsA native of the Mediterranean region and other parts of Europe and the East, Lords and Ladies has naturalized in Argentina and some places of United States. In fall the arrow-shaped gray-green leaves appear with their white to mid-green markings. In warm climates the leaves last all winter; in cold climates they may die back but reappear in early spring. The leaves vary in the beauty of their markings which take a couple of years to develop but careful selection of desirable plants is worth the effort. In early summer the white to yellowish-green spathe and spadix emerge with the spadix bearing tiny yellow flowers. Red berries follow the flowers on the spadix as the spathe and leaves disappear. Hosta and ferns are especially good companions for Lords and Ladies since they will produce new leaves as the foliage of the Lords and Ladies disappears for the summer. A good choice for a woodland shade garden; valuable for winter arrangements.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: White to yellowish green spathe and spadix with tiny yellow flowers

Size: 6-18” x 6-18” W

Light: Sun for best flowers and berries; shade for best foliage markings; tolerates deep shade.

Soil: Humusy, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 6-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed; division

Companion plants: Hosta, ferns, white flowered hellebores, white flowered bulbs such as crocus and snowdrops.

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