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  Arum purpureospathum x Arum palaestinum
From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy at sbcglobal.net> on 2013.06.19 at 20:39:27(22818)
Erin,

I am relatively new to the world of Arum, having started growing them in Fort Worth, Texas only two years ago (the coming growing season will be my third). However, when I lived in Los Angeles, CA, I grew about every aroid you can think of including a number of Arum.

First of all, you are not the only person in Northern California growing Arum purpureospathum!!! I know of several people growing that particular species there, not the least of which is the Botanical Gardens at the University of California at Berkley.

I belong to the Arisaema Enthusiasts Group, who have an annual exchange/distribution of seed. In the last two years, I have "planted" several hundred Arum seed and only had a dozen or so successes (seed germinate and leaf sprouted). So I am still learning, but intend to try again this Fall with seed from 10 - 15 different species.

I am told that the berry may incorporate some kind of anti-germination enzyme, so the seed must be cleaned as much as possible. The second thing I do know for sure is that the seed is going to germinate or not germinate at some time certain and with the exception of some species, there is little you can do about it. I am told that with Arum pictum (the botanists have decided that this is no longer an Arum, also I am told), may germinate at any time of the year given the right temperature and other conditions. I currently have two seedlings of A. pictum, Majorcan form, which have not yet gone dormant (although everything else has).

Some say that certain species need refrigeration prior to germination, but Dr. Peter Boyce (THE EXPERT), advised me that this is not necessary. A recognized US expert in the area of growing arum from seed is Ellen Horning, who tells me that "arums germinate in autumn, as average temperatures fall. This is a common adaptation in Mediterranean plants. They're dormant in summer, when it's too hot and dry to grow, and they germinate as soon as conditions become more comfortable in fall. That way the little seedlings can grow, and their tubers bulk up, for the better part of a year, until hot dry weather returns.

I've grown thousands of arums from seed, and all I ever did was sow them in summer, leave them alone outdoors (natural rainfall is OK, but don't give extra water during the summer), and watch them emerge in autumn. The first year you'll see only one dull-looking leaf; don't try to separate them or push them - just feed them as you would any seedling and leave them in their community pots. When they're dormant the next summer, you can empty the pot and give each little tuber a small pot of its own, if you're so inclined. Remember, though, that the surest way to kill them is to give them too much room and let the mix stay soggy, so it's actually safer to let them stay in their community pots for 2 years unless you've sowed them so thickly that they can't develop."

Finally, I am also told that it may take up to five years from seed to flowering plant. As I am 73 years old now, I am not sure I can wait 5 years. So I have been trying to obtain tubers, although I am more than willing to continue trying seed.

I hope this is helpful.

David Leedy

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From: "Ertelt, Jonathan B" <jonathan.ertelt at Vanderbilt.Edu> on 2013.06.19 at 20:59:03(22819)
Erin,

While it is possible that the fly/pollinator visited one species and then the other, it is also possible and perhaps more likely that the A. purpureospathum was self-pollinated by whatever visited the flowers.

Others will I expect certainly chime in here but Iíve never known many of the berry fruited aroids to have a long and healthy seed viability Ė they tend to need to be planted pretty quickly. Keeping them chilled but not freezing, and not letting the fruit shrivel
too much or rot, all will help. I have no suggestions on preserving the viable seed for extended periods or removing them from the fruit Ė donít know the genus that well. However, if you decide that you have some extra seeds...

Jonathan

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