We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: Arisaema heterophyllum - winter seed harvest  (Read 2062 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2687
  • Country: us
  • the onion man has layers
Arisaema heterophyllum - winter seed harvest
« on: January 11, 2010, 10:41:39 PM »
Just read through the Arisaema 2009 thread, my eyes hurt from all of the supurb photos of amazing Ariseama species.

I have a question about what to do with A.heterophyllum seed harvested in the dead of winter (today, Jan. 11, 2010).  For seven years I've grown two tubers of A. heterophyllum, and it is apparently a giant form, as mine always tops out at 6' (2 meters) to the tip of the spadix.  I uploaded a few photos of the species in bloom for reference.  Like some species, it is late to sprout, doesn't typically break ground until first week of June, then amazingly by the beginning of July it reaches 2 meters tall! 

In all these years it has never set seed. This year, one of the stems fell over in a thunderstorm.  Normally I'll keep the stems staked, but this year I just let the inflorescence lie on the ground, and lo and behold, it set viable red seeds this year.  The problem however was that the seed did not ripen until very late, still not quite ready late November, then in early December we suddenly had lots of snow and subfreezing temperatures, rarely getting above freezing.

Today I decided to chop through the crusty layer of snow (30 cm thick) and retrieve the seed.  The fruiting structure was frozen solid to the soil, so I lifted a plate of soil with the seed, brought it in to thaw.  I normally sow Arisaema seed in situ in the autumn.  Any recommendations for growing on the seed now, can I sow it on a warm windowsill, or should I keep the seed chilled in my refrigerator until spring? In one photo, there is a tape measure showing the spadix reaching 6', some people have doubted my claims.
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com

Paul T

  • Our man in Canberra
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8435
  • Country: au
  • Paul T.
Re: Arisaema heterophyllum - winter seed harvest
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 11:11:14 PM »

Sounds like a great form.  I rather like this species, and quite enjoy my obviously somewhat inadequate 3 to 4 foot tall one.  ;)  I just love the solid stem and the leaf with the flower sitting above it.  You've captured it well.  8)

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Maggi Young

  • Forum Dogsbody
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 44719
  • Country: scotland
  • "There's often a clue"
    • International Rock Gardener e-magazine
Re: Arisaema heterophyllum - winter seed harvest
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 11:24:52 PM »
Good grief... it is  large, isn't it?
I do hope Martin Baxendale reads this thread.... I feel it could be a new character for his next cartoon.... Ivor Biggun   ::) :-X

I'd clean the seed now, sow it and bury the seed pots back under the snow.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16348
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: Arisaema heterophyllum - winter seed harvest
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 11:52:32 PM »
It has a superb leaf which sets off the flower well. I wonder if my 3 year old seedlings are true to name. So far no flowers and only about 30cm leaves in their pot.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal