Arisaema nepenthoides

Section Nepenthoidea.

Arisaema nepenthoides is a popular species, with most forms being hardy and easily grown. The only real difficulty appears to be getting hold of good quality tubers. It is imported into the UK in large numbers each year although most tubers arrive severely damaged, and I suspect many do not survive.

Often early into growth and one of the first species to flower, the developing shoot of Arisaema nepenthoides may need protecting from late frosts.

With a wide distribution from Nepal, North East India, Western China, Bhutan and Northern Myanmar, Arisaema nepenthoides is quite variable, and different populations often display different features with regards to spathe colouration and the size of the auricles.

The shoot develops into a prominent pseudostem from which the inflorescence emerges before the leaves. The spathe is cylindrical and often with large auricles, although this feature can vary. It is a pale browny green with vertical blotchy lines with pale veins. The spadix is rounded at the end.

From my own observations, plants can flower from a relatively small size with a tuber diameter of around 3.5cm.

The pseudostem, petioles and peduncle are covered in a wonderful mottled pattern.


The tuber is globose and can reach around 8cm in diameter. It has raised tubercles around the edges which will naturally detach during a growing season and form new tubers. Offsetting does not appear to be hugely prolific and if lots of plants are required, new plants will need to be produced by seed.

Seeds and germination:

Seeds of Arisaema nepenthoides are ephemeral and quickly lose viability if they are stored dry. It is vital that if seeds are to be stored for any period of time that they are kept moist and refrigerated.

It is relatively common to see Arisaema nepenthoides seed listed for sale in commercial seed catalogues. Don’t waste your money on this seed – if the seed has been dried out for any period of time it will not germinate.

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