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Caerphilly, United Kingdom Gb

IDENTIFICATION help, please :) When out walking, I saw this plant. It seems like something that has perhaps seeded from a nearly garden as it looks unlike the usual wild plants...

Can anyone tell me what it is please?

There are non varigated versions nearby, which I assume are the same plant but newer offspring which have lost the varigation?

Thank you in advance x




It is Arum italicum, a woodland/shade lover. Later in the year it will have a spike of red berries. The one with the plain leaves is the wild version which is found in woodland and on shady banks. The variegated version is available in garden centres.

22 Apr, 2013


It is the subspecies of A. italicum, Arum italicum ssp, marmoratum. The simple species has the plain leaves whilst the ssp. has the varigated ones. Both grow wild in the south of England, I believe, and across Europe. Garden centers don't usually bother with the 'marmoratum' part of the name.

22 Apr, 2013


Common name Lords and Ladies. I have one which returns every year in an untouched part of the garden. Instilled as a child that the orange seeds are poisonous.

22 Apr, 2013


And the one behind is garlic mustard, hedge garlic, or Jack-by-the-hedge, alliaria petiolata, mildly garlic flavoured.

22 Apr, 2013


Thank you for your replies, it would seem there is no doubt!

It's beautiful - I'm going to hunt one down for the garden :) xx

22 Apr, 2013


Well, just be careful, they spread if happy and if they self seed, about 1/3 of the seedlings will lose the variegation.

22 Apr, 2013


lords and ladies is also poisonous. but jack by the hedge tastes nice, i have some in the garden and add it to salads.

23 Apr, 2013


The berries are indeed poisonous, but there have been no recorded deaths from eating them for over 100 years. The sensation of eating just one, which would not be lethal, has been described as like chewing on a mouthful of sharp needles. I do not think anyone would manage more than that!

23 Apr, 2013


Spot on Owdboggy. But it is not just the berries though they are the bit that most people are attracted to. I met a woman who chewed a leaf and was left with a stingy numb mouth.

The effect comes on very quickly so children who do try a berry very soon realise they've done something wrong and get help.

23 Apr, 2013

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