Open letter to Arums

 Dear Lords and Ladies,

I am writing to you to express my admiration towards your wonderful foliage, which starts to grow late September and remains so beautiful throughout the winter.

I know that because your particular life cycle, many people are overlooking you, but personally I think you make a great foliage plant for shade, and not only. The flowers, which appear in June, followed by the corn-popsicle-like colourful fruits, are great compliments.

Your variegated varieties, like ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Winter White’ and ‘Chameleon’ are particularly delightful and embellish the Display Garden at Lost Horizons every year, also drawing lots of attention from everyone visiting late fall.

 Please remain assured of my sincere admiration.

Yours truly,

diversifolius and


8 replies
  1. 21rouge
    21rouge says:

    I am close to finishing the ‘bones’ of a small garden (no plants till next season) which will see much shade…some parts even very little indirect sunlight. So I am making notes re plants that do perform in such an aspect and I really don’t want to have it as a hosta garden. ARUMS sound interesting. I am unsure as to their life/season cycle. If they flower in June do they then ‘die back’ or go dormant until the fall?
    I am always a bit apprehensive of a plant that performs in late fall given the possibility of cold weather. Are ARUMS frost resistant? Which one or two do you like the best?

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      They flower in June, set fruits (August) and then the new leaves start growing around late September, so actually it looks like they never go totally dormant.They are at their best foliage in late fall to winter. They are frost resistant, at some point become covered in snow anyway.Both ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Winter White’ are great (‘Chameleon’ it’s not available for sale).
      If I may suggest, there are many other shade plants available at LH – one could easily put together a shade garden which would look great from spring – fall/winter.

      • 21rouge
        21rouge says:

        I would love your experience re shade plants. Specifically I am trying to decide on an an anchor perennial or two or bush which perform well in full shade i.e. (much) less than 2 hours of direct sun.

        (For example I would love to incorporate a tree you had blogged about earlier i.e. the .Acer ‘Aureum’ but I suspect it needs more light than it will get in this new garden.)

        • diversifolius
          diversifolius says:

          Most of the plants from the display garden – shady areas at LH, don’t get direct sun after the deciduous trees are leafed. Probably the Acer shiras. ‘Aureum’ will do well,
          first good shrub to come into my mind is Acanthopanax sieb. ‘Varieg.’.

  2. 21rouge
    21rouge says:

    That Acanthopanax looks intriguing as it looks like it can handle dry shade but its advertised potential size is too big for the garden under consideration. Is it practical to trim it to keep it in check (max of 4 feet tall by 4 feet out) or should I just look for something else?

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