The Many-Named Wild Arum

Wild Arum (Arum maculatum) is known by many names.

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“Cuckoo Pint,” “Lords and Ladies,” “Friars Cowl,” Wake Robin;” and “Jack-in-the-Pulpit,” are but a few of the traditional English names for the species.

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Many of the names refer to the distinctive shape of the plant, with its phallus-like “spadex” at the centre. This organ is the flower of the plant and as well as becoming the fruiting body later in the year, growing a distinctive column of red berries, attracts insects with it’s odour, which smells of faeces.

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It’s not a flower to put in the living room.

The plant and its berries are also poisonous. A dramatic feature to look out for on a spring walk in the woods.

 

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