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Arisaema tortuosum

Whipcord Cobra Lily

This cobra lily is widely distributed from the Himalayas and southwestern China south to Burma and India. It produces a green inflorescence in summer that has a long, upright green or purple tip like an antenna. The glossy, palmate leaves can get quite large. The foliage dies in fall and the plant hibernates as a bulbous rhizome and can survive even severe freezes. It is considered hardy down to at least USDA zone 5 and must have a spot in filtered sun to look its best.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
The rating and germination time is base on seed no more than 6 months old and sown in an un-heated shaded coldframe or greenhouse in a soilbased compost. Equally good results can be obtained by chitting seed between damp papertowels packed in plastic bags indoors and inspected every few days.
Submitted on 15/07/2007 by Gary Fisher garyfisher_sigi@tiscali.co.uk

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In South Worcestershire in U.K. they need average care and grow normal.
A much more variable species than the general description on this site would make you believe. Because of it's wide distribution variable in flowering time also. Growing from seed requires a cool but frost free place. (In Northern Europe usually a shaded cold greenhouse.) I have grown this from seed from numerous North Indian and Napalese collections, and the first (male) spathes are produced on plants that are in their 3rd growing season. That is, unless the season is unusually warm, and/or they are attacked by red spidermite. They are mostly no more than 45 cm tall at this age and the tubers 3-4 cm dia. Supposedly up to 2 m tall in some populations, none I have grown have been taller than 1 m.Outdoors need a moisture retentive, free draining soil, out of strong winds and sun. Watering can be daily in hot, dry weather. Fertilising once a week.Stems can be plain green, speckled with silver markings, red-brown with 'Snake-skin' like makings or black-brown. Spathe can be small (4.5 cm x 1.5 cm) to large (8 cm x 3.5 cm), plain green or marked with black around edges. Spadix, green or black. Length; twice length of spathe. Flowering time can be from May - August, depending on location and clone.
Submitted on 15/07/2007 by Gary Fisher garyfisher@tiscali.co.uk

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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