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  "Arum besserianum"
From: "Peter Boyce" <P.Boyce at lion.rbgkew.org.uk> on 1998.01.05 at 09:06:33(1809)
Hi Folks and a Happy New Year.

Since 'Arum' was published there have been a number of interesting
and exciting finds that change things a bit. Arum besserianum is one
of these. It is one of a number of distinct species that form a
complex centered on Arum orientale Other members of the
complex are A. sintenisii (Cyprus), A. elongatum (E Europe,
W/SW Russia), A. apulum (Italy), A. nigrum (Balkans) and A. gratum
(NW Turkey). All have discoid-erect tubers and deep purple to
purplish-tinged green spathes. Most are foul-smelling
but A. gratum smells of crushed smoke bush leaves (Cotinus coggygria:
Anacardiaceae) and A. sintenisii has a smell reminiscent of apple
brandy. All I've germinated from this group (all of the above except
A. besserianum, in fact) produce a leaf soon after germination in
late summer/early autumn and continue to grow leaves throughout the
first season before going dormant in late spring/early summer. The
trick is to keep them growing as long as possible and to get the
tubers as large as you can by feeding regularly and by potting the
entire pot of seedlings on as soon as roots start to appear
through the drainage holes. To do this simply knock the pot of
plants out and, without disturbing them, put them in larger pot,
filling the space below and around the root ball with fresh compost.
In this way it is quite possible to get tubers the size of an brazil
nut at the end of the first season and flowering plants within three
years.

Hope this helps

Pete

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