Arisaemas

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Arisaema is an unusual plant with horn-shaped flowers that resemble raised snake heads. That's why it's called "cobra-lily." The flowers can be white, black, pink, green, yellow, or brown, and form a tube that ranges from 2cm (1in) to over 25cm (10in) in length. The leaves of Arisaema are formed by small leaves grouped in threes, fives to sevens, or whorls, all gathered around the stem at its top.

Cultivating cobra-lily can be more or less challenging depending on the variety. The bulbs, called corms, need good drainage to avoid rotting. They prefer rich humus soils that are fresh, composed of 70% leaf compost and 30% topsoil.

For pot cultivation, use a wide, shallow clay pot filled with half-perlite or vermiculite and leaf compost. Plant the bulbs 5cm (2in) deep and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. In winter, store your pot frost-free and maintain a slight coolness. Resume watering only in early spring, around April, as soon as the bulbs emerge.

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