How very tragic that one of the most elegant of flowers should be relegated to the title of "Funeral Lily" conjuring up images of death and mourning. I wish someone would name Arum Lillies "Celebratory Lily" instead - then they could be used in a funeral where one wished to celebrate a persons life, and we could still picture them as a flower perfectly suited to a wedding, christening or dinner party occasion !
Honestly, I think very few flowers come even close to the Arum Lily for elegance. Have you ever looked deep into the creamy petal of an Arum Lily? I mean really looked into that colour? It is smooth, pure perfection without fault. I very much wish I was a bee that could crawl down into it's depths and snuggle up inside it's creaminess.
In Victorian times the splendour of the arum lily was well recognised, and in the Victorian era code of flowers it was given the meaning 'magnificent beauty'. At the turn of the century a bouquet of expensive arums was the ultimate indulgence bestowed only by serious admirers. Oh for such poetic compliments in today's 'courtship rituals' !!
Arum Lillies have long been a favourite of mine, and as such I believe they are well deserving of a place in my 'Old fashioned flower of the season' catalogue. I remember as a child, my mother grew then around the base of the water tank at the hold homestead. They were so lush and shiny green all year and so charming with their flowers in the springtime just as we children were 'released' from our cooped up winter indoors come the spring. What a darling way to be greeted when winter was over, by the dear friendly faces of the arum lillies.
Growing Facts: (from Garden Express)
ARUM LILY Family: Araceae
Arum Lilies are simple to grow in any position that enjoys regular water or is naturally damp, even wet. They have thick lush dark green foliage that grows to 70cm high with large metre high pure white flowers and striking yellow spadix. A variation is the striking 'green goddess' with its unusual green and white flowers.
Flowering Season: Spring to early summer.
Plant Size: 1m H x 60cm W
Planting Density: App. 50cm apart.
Multiplication Speed: Rapid. Clumps can reach 1m wide in 3 years.
Preferred Aspect: Sun or Shade. Dappled light best. Damp or well watered area best.
Plant Uses: Use in shady wet areas, pond edges. Great cut flower.
Likes: Wet feet, being left undisturbed.
Dislikes: Hot dry conditions.
Watering - Water once per week during dry periods.
Fertilising - Mix a handful of complete fertiliser through soil when planting. Top dress in spring.
Lifting and storage - No need to lift for at least 3 years. Can be lifted and divided during the winter months and re-planted immediately.
Pests - None.
Tips- Arum lily has evergreen foliage from Autumn till mid summer. A plant for wet or boggy areas, in garden beds or around ponds as long as these are isolated and not near waterways or other damp areas where it may spread.