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ARUM creticum

Image of Arum creticum

James H. Schutte

Family

Araceae

Botanical Name

ARUM creticum

Plant Common Name

Arum, Cretan Arum

General Description

At first glance of the Cretan arum in bloom, you'd think it was a lemon-scented calla lily. Native to the rocky mountainous hillsides of the Greek island of Crete, and adjacent western Turkey, it prospers in sunnier conditions, unlike many other arums which prefer shade.

The medium green, satiny leaves look like small arrowheads and appear from fall to spring. They die back in summer during the arid heat of the Mediterranean. Any time in spring, flower stems will rise above the leaves. Each bloom consists of a light lemon yellow spathe surrounding a slender golden spadix. The spathe points upward but flops backward as the flower ages. Orange-red fruits follow on the insect-pollinated parts of the lower spadix.

Grow Cretan arum in full sun to partial shade and gritty, well-drained soil enriched with lots of organic matter. Keep soil moist from fall to spring when foliage is present, but allow soil to dry out in summer when the plant becomes dormant. Do not plant it where it is exposed to salt spray or drying winds.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    12"-20" / 30.5cm - 50.8cm

  • Width

    16"-24" / 40.6cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Mediterranean, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes