Arisaema thunbergii ssp. urashima is a great aroid that adds some excitement to the garden. Known as the dominatrix jack-in-the-pulpit, it appears in late spring and is gone by late summer. Its special feature is a long, dark purple, whip-like spadix that can reach 45 cm long, in true dominatrix fashion.
Unlike many of its cousins, this denizen of the woods is easy to grow. Over time it makes offshoots that can be separated from the parent plant. It can also be grown from seed but may take 3-5 years to flower.
Fertilized flowers will produce red berries that mature in fall after the leaves have faded. All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate and are poisonous.
The subspecies urashima is similar to the species, but is shorter growing to just 45 cm tall, and has 11-15 broad leaflets instead of 9-17 narrow ones.
Arisaema thunbergii ssp. urashima
Life Cycle: perennial/tuber
Height: 45cm (18in)
Bloom Time: late spring
Natural Range: Japan
Synonyms: Arisaema urashima, Arisaema thunbergii, Flagellarisaema urashima,
Cultivation of Arisaema thunbergii ssp. urashima
Light: part shade to shade
Soil: humus-rich, well drained
Water: medium to wet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9
Propagation: seed, division