Arum italicum ‘White Winter’
Plant of the month: February
With radiant spikes of red-orange berries, you can’t miss Arum italicum in the Grass Garden this month!
Equally striking are its arrow-shaped, white-marbled leaves, which are present from winter to late spring. The flowers meanwhile are tiny, but grouped together into a spadix (a spike-like inflorescence) and enclosed within a spathe (a large, greenish-white bract), they attract flies for pollination.
Unfortunately this plant is not for a child-friendly garden – calcium oxalate can be found in all parts of the plant, which when eaten forms sharp structures called raphids, causing swelling and severe discomfort. The sap is also irritating to the skin!