Arum - Black Calla, Italian Arum
DESCRIPTION: These are hardy and tender plants that grow wild in Europe and Asia. They shouldn't be confused with the Arum Lily (Zantedeschia) or the Water Arum (Calla palustris). These plants are more interesting than pretty. A. italicum grows to 2 feet and has spear-shaped leaves and yellowish-green flower spathes. A. palaestinum grows 18 inches high and produces black-purple spathes. This plant is tender and should be grown in pots in a frost proof greenhouse in the North.
POTTING: The hardy kinds should only be planted outside in the wild garden or by the water's edge. They love sunny places or those with a little shade in rich, moist soil. They should be planted in early fall, though they can be set out in the spring. When they need a greenhouse to live in, they should be potted in two-thirds loam, one-third leaf mold and some sand. Pot the roots in October and keep the soil moist while they are actively growing, but nearly dry in the winter.
PROPAGATION: Offsets or side pieces can be removed and replanted where they are to stay.
VARIETIES: A. italicum (the Italian Arum); A. palaestinum (the Black Calla).
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