Monday, 3 September 2012

Cobra lily (Arisaema heterophyllum)

I first found this cobra lily in my garden when I was weeding a couple of years ago.  The one that I have has a mottled stem and typical (apparently) leaves that form a circle with leaf shaped pieces coming off around the circle... very distinctive,  but hard to describe.  The first photographs that I took of them seems to have been flooky and accurate.   I moved some of the plants to a place that I could keep an eye on them and this year,  they have grown well....
 This plant is not as easy to see,   but only because of the surrounding vegetation.   There is one mature leaf and another that is emerging with the complete set of lobes....  from what I had read,  these were assumed to grow as the leaf became larger.  Next day,  the leaf has begun to unfold,  and all of the separate lobes are already there....
... the stem is quite striped (as the original plant was) and the new leaf is unfolding.  I have never seen this plant flower, but I am waiting to see whether it is similar to the other "cobra lily" that I have in the garden.

I can only imagine how the intrepid explorers of olden days felt when they found new and intriguing species in their travels.

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