Arisarum arisarum (L.) Huth
Arisarum australe Rich.
Arisarum azoricum Schott
Arisarum balansae Schott
Arisarum clusii Schott
Arisarum crassifolium Schott
Arisarum forbesii Schott
Arisarum hastatum Pomel
Arisarum incurvatum Holmboe
Arisarum jacquinii Schott
Arisarum latifolium Bubani
Arisarum latifolium Hill
Arisarum libani Schott
Arisarum serpentrium Raf.
Arisarum sibthorpii Schott
Arisarum simorrhinum clusii (Schott) Talavera
Arisarum simorrhinum subexertum (Webb & Berthel.) Talavera
Arisarum subalpinum Kotschy ex Engl.
Arisarum subexertum Webb & Berthel.
Arisarum veslingii Schott
Arum arisarum L.
Arum arisarum Lour.
Arum calyptrale Salisb.
Arum incurvatum Lam.
Arum libani Schott
Balmisa vulgaris (O.Targ.Tozz.) Lag.
Calyptrocoryne cochinchinensis (Blume) Schott
Typhonium cochinchinense Blume
Common Name: Friar's Cowl
Flowering plant growing on Mallorca
Photograph by: Orchi
Arisarum vulgare is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing from an irregularly-shaped tuber with one or more growing points. Each growing point produces a single leaf up to 30cm tall with a flowering stem 30cm or more tall.
The plant has been harvested from the wild for local use as a food - it has often been used in times of scarcity but is little used at other times. The plant is often grown as an ornamental.
The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water[
Mediterranean region from western Europe and western N. Africa to Turkey and the Levant
Grassy places, open ground[
] and rocky ground[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Arisarum vulgare is a Mediterranean plant, growing best in areas that experience mild winters with ample rain. It commences growth in the autumn flowering in the winter and then becoming dormant in the spring as the weather becomes hotter and rainfall virtually ceases. The plant can tolerate some frost, especially if grown in a woodland, surviving occasionall short-lived temperatures down to about -10°c[
]. Outside of Mediterranean climates the plant is probably best grown under protection[
Prefers a woodland soil or a sandy loam with leafmould[
]. Grows well in shady rather moist places[
Root - cooked. The acrid juice should first be removed by thorough and repeated washing leaving behind a nutritious and innoxious residue[
]. Thorough drying or cooking will also destroy any harmful elements of this root[
]. The root is frequently used as an emergency food in times of scarcity, it is about the size of a walnut[
One report suggests that the leaves might be edible[
]. If they are they must be well cooked first[
A good ground-cover plant for a shady place[
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a shady part of the greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the spring if this is possible. Sow stored seed in early spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least the first winter in a greenhouse and plant out when dormant in the summer once the tuber has reached a reasonable size.
Division in spring after the plant dies down[