This Jack-in-the-Pulpit was sold to us mislabeled as Arisaeme kishidae, but as it grew, it soon became obvious it was an altogether different Japanese species offered by the same grower, A. hachijoense, native of Hachijo Island, famed as a nature paradise, southernmost & largest of the Izu Islands of Japan.
The spathe photos on this page were taken in late August, which is not supposed to be the usual time for it to bloom. This page's photos are all from its first year in the ground, & we thought the corm must have been "held back" by refrigration, a common marketing technique, & for that reason it mistook late summer for spring.
We assumed that after it had been in our garden a while longer, it would get back on schedule, blooming about April. But a year later (in 2003) it was again not up until June, & in full display in August. Second-year photos can be seen on the A. hachijoense page of the Pulpit Gallery.
Hachijo Island Cobra Lily has a thick sturdy petiole (stem) which has has been described as "chocolate striped" but I would call it a mottled snakeskin appearance.
The green spathe has faint yellow-green striping, & the little "Jack" inside keeps his head upright just under the hood. The spathe's hood has a short point that upturns, like a gopher snake's pug nose, which is the trait that made it easy to recognize this as the Hachijo Island Cobra Lily (had it really been A. kishidae as labeled, the spathe would've been brown striped with a long whip instead of a pug nose).
The spathe/flower lasts several weeks. On the female, the spathe eventually dries & peals away revealing a little green "corn cob" of seeds. These do not develop if there is no male in the vicinity.
It has only two main leaves but these open into several leaflets. The leaves are ever so faintly ruffled in the same manner as other jack-in-the-pulpits of the A. serratum complex.
Arisameas in general respond well to feeding frequent but small amounts of slow-release fertilizer. A. hachijoense can take more sunlight than most, going for partial sunlight or light shade.
Griffith's Cobra Lily,
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