Tag Archives: arisaema

Tikorangi Notes: Friday 2 December, 2011

The next series of Mark's arisaema hybrids is coming into flower

The next series of Mark's arisaema hybrids is coming into flower

Latest Posts:
1) A love/hate relationship with roses – Abbie’s column.
2) My fortnightly garden diary from the latest issue of the Weekend Gardener.
3) Continuing the rose theme, Plant Collector is on Roseraie de l’Hay.
4) Grow it Yourself is on capsicums this week (though apparently we will not be growing them ourselves this year).
5) Fruit by Mark Diacon (British gardeners are apparently sufficiently intelligent or adequately educated and they are allowed an index in a gardening reference book).

Tikorangi Notes: Friday 2 December, 2011
The second wave of Mark’s arisaema hybrids are coming into flower. These are visibly candidissimum hybrids but with colour (and stripes). In our conditions, we struggle with many of the species but hybrids add a new vigour. They may not appeal to the purist and the plant collector, but they will appeal to gardeners! However, the hybrid arisaema have not been offered for sale at all, and at this stage we have no plans to do so.

We have been delighted to see our Cordyline Red Fountain honoured with an award in Japan this week (it was Australia a couple of weeks ago).

And I have been having some fun on the website of our national museum with the DIY Monet facility – turning a photo into a Monet lookalike (of sorts).

The DIY Monet image, courtesy of the Te Papa website

The DIY Monet image, courtesy of the Te Papa website

Coming up next week: the Higo irises

Coming up next week: the Higo irises

Tikorangi Notes: Friday October 29, 2010

Latest posts: Friday October 29, 2010

1) Sumptuous nuttalli rhododendrons are coming into flower, particularly the appropriately named Floral Legacy.

2) Countdown to Festival – the penultimate episode for this year as our annual Taranaki garden festival starts today.

3) Our tips for garden tasks this week.

4) Outdoor Classroom this week is about rhododendrons – common problems and suitable remedies.

Even at 7.30am, the lilac flowers and adjacent apricot azalea are a delight this week in our driveway
Even at 7.30am, the lilac flowers and adjacent apricot azalea are a delight this week

Tikorangi Notes: Friday October 29, 2010

Mark's hybrid arisaemas are a real feature

Mark's hybrid arisaemas are a real feature

Today is the first day of our annual garden festival – an event which delivers a hefty portion of our annual visitors in a busy 10 days. All around our province, gardens are groomed, swept, weeded and trimmed in preparation and garden owners are waiting to meet and greet. At this time of the year it is mostly the maddenia and nuttallii rhododendrons in flower for us, along with the deciduous azaleas. Mark’s arisaemas make pretty unique bedding plants throughout, the rhodohypoxis make carpets of colour and the roses are just opening.

Flowering this week – Arisaema dahaiense

October 27 2009 001 (Small)

Not quite a mouse eating plant, but truly remarkable - A. dahaiense

In a quiet moment in the middle of our garden festival last week, Mark must have been suffering from boredom to be so mischievous as to tell a garden visitor that this flower had just eaten a mouse. She actually believed him too, until he twiddled the long tendril which comes out from the flower and resembles a mouse tail. She wasn’t sufficiently gullible to believe that the mouse was still alive. But this extraordinary flower is decidedly reptilian in appearance.

You certainly won’t find this plant on the shelves at your local garden centre. Mark spent many years hoping to be given one of the rare bulbs and it finally came to pass last year so this is its first flowering for us. At this stage, it is strictly who you know when it comes to acquiring this plant. Dahaiense comes from the Yunnan area of China although this strain was collected somewhere round the Burmese border area. In the wild, it has been photographed at close to two metres in height but our plant has yet to reach anywhere near that stature.

There are a whole range of different arisaemas and some are much more spectacular than others. They are a most curious genus being true hermaphrodites. When the plant is strong and robust, it becomes female and able to set seed but when it is immature or feeling a little weak and poorly it becomes male and is only capable of pollen donation. We will say no more on that topic.

Mark has spent some years gathering all the different species available here and hybridising to get some unique forms to use in the garden. He has a large number of spring flowering plants which hold their cobra-like heads above the foliage (most species hide their flowers below the leaves) and his summer flowering forms extend the colour from the more usual brown or greenish flowers into pinks and burgundies. They are not pretty but they are certainly interesting and nobody else has bedding plants quite like our arisaemas. Dahaiense has opened a whole new range of possibilities as a pollen donor this year.