How to grow Japanese cobra lily - Arisaema ringens

The Japanese cobra lily is perhaps the most spectacular of all species within the Arisaema genus. Native to Japan, Korea, and China, Arisaema ringens is a tuberous woodland perennial that is best known for its cobra-like flower. However despite being a rarity in almost all garden centres it is surprisingly easy to grow the Japanese cobra lily - Arisaema ringens, assuming you can find one!

The flowers appear in the spring, one bloom per tuber, arising from the centre of two green trifoliate leaves. Growing to between 4 and - 6 inches tall, each flower is a showy, green and purple striped spathe with a hood. Inside each hood is a yellow to white flower spike known as a spadix. The plant itself will only grow 12 -18 inches in height and spread.

As exotic as this plant undeniably looks, given the right conditions the Japanese cobra lily is in fact completely hardy.

Japanese cobra lilies prefer part shade to full shade and are best grown in moist humus-rich, but well-drained soils. If you are growing from tubers then they will need to be planted about 3-4 inches deep.

The drainage is very important as the root system can become damaged if kept waterlogged for extended periods. Do not allow the soil to dry out. To prevent problems later on  avoid growing in heavy clay soils.

Plants go dormant in summer after flowering, except hermaphroditic flowering plants will produce a cluster of red berries in mid to late summer which become visible as the spathe withers.

The Japanese cobra lily can be grown from seed, but may take 3-5 years before they produce their amazing flower.

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