Laura O’Brien from Bridging The Gap in Kansas City! Congratulations, she wins a raspberry pixie daylily! She correctly answered Arum italicum, a plant native to the U.K. It’s in the Araceae family which threw a few contestants off. They thought it was the native Jack-in-the-pulpit—a very good answer, by the way. I love the common names for it which are Cuckoo Pint and Italian Lord-and-Ladies. If you’re in the U.K. stop in at the Cuckoo Pint Pub in Fareham to have a toast to its namesake plant.
I first noticed this plant with its summer berries a couple blocks from my house and I had to know what it was. I finally found one at a local nursery and it has been a success in the shade under my cherry tree. This fall it will send up new leaves that will last all winter to the end of spring.
This photos was taken in spring but the leaves look the same. Notice how much they look like the houseplant, Arrowhead vine, Syngonium. In the spring, a strange looking bloom will appear.
After the sheath goes away, the center thingy becomes the berries. If anyone can fill me in on what you call that vertical appendage, I would appreciate it.
So here we are in July with lovely orange-red berries. Even though my wikipedia source says this plant can be invasive in warm climates, I have never noticed that happening here in Kansas City. It also recommends planting with hostas so the new fall foliage will cover the spent leaves of hosta in the fall and remind you where you planted your hostas. I think the orange berry stalk would look smashing in between hosta leaves as well.
Here’s what Missouri Botanical has to say about it. Mobot to the rescue! That vertical thingy is called a spadix.