Asarum - Aristolochiaceae - How to care for and grow Asarum plants


HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS

ASARUM

BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Magnoliid

Order

:

Piperales

Family

:

Aristolochiaceae

Kind

:

Asarum

Species

: see the paragraph on "Main species"

The article was written by Dario Toffolon, a great fan of plants

FEATURES

we see some unusual plants, all lovers of cold winters, often of extraordinary charm if only for the strangeness of the leaves or flowers.

all these plants do not like calcareous water and the ideal is to plant them in the ground, leaving, after an initial period of adaptation in which they must certainly be watered, that it is the only rain to sprinkle them.

all require very little or no fertilization. a peaty soil enriched with loam of leaves and pine needles is their ideal.

lava, perlite and river sand (not calcareous!) are excellent additions to favor the drainage of water in the soil and to maintain a basically acidic pH.


Asarum splendens

the flower looks like a rafflesia (image below -Wikipedia).

it is not a meter in size and is not even remotely related to this extraordinary plant.

it is not even a carnivorous plant, as some might think ... it is a ASARUM SPLENDENS, an evergreen plant of Chinese origin, of the family ofAristolochiaceae.

blooms

in spring after having vegetated from autumn to winter, while culminating its vitality precisely in that milder season. during the summer it does not lose its leaves, if the climate is humid and the plant is not exposed to the sun, but its growth will be practically nil. otherwise (too sunny exposure and dry climate) it may even dry out to return to its cycle from the following autumn, with the first rains.

I suggest to stop it

between the roots of other plants. my asarum splendens is in the shade of two camellias (which are also evergreen) and a cherry tree, in the midst of herbaceous paeonias that grow in front of it from spring to summer, leaving it almost in the dark (i.e. the first buds of the paeonias begin to grow right at the end of its flowering to reach the size of 80 cm in height at the beginning of summer, constituting, with their thick, a remarkable barrier against the sun and a sheltered and humid place, much loved by my splendid creature ).

this condition, fatal for other plants, is instead very congenial and during the summer I have never witnessed the leaf fall, certainly thanks to the mountain climate which reaches only exceptionally and only in the month of July days with 30 °: the average, in that month, is in fact 22-26 ° during the day and from mid-August it drops dramatically by 6 or even more degrees (it happened to me several times to spend mid-August with the fireplace on ...).

leaves

they are very reminiscent of those of some varieties of cyclamen, in shape, color and silver variegation on an intense blue-green background.

the flower

it is pollinated by beetles (scarabs), the only ones that can actually appreciate the "scents" that are not strictly aromatic (as for all aristolochiaceae), but fortunately not very intense.

the whole plant is very toxic

even if in the past used for various medicinal purposes (abandoned for this reason) and of course it could only be eaten anyway, after complex cooking processes (which however will certainly not completely eliminate its toxicity!), in its countries of origin. I can only DISCLAIM THE USE (and in order not to induce temptation I will not even mention what could be its properties!).
ah, I forgot, the flower is only a few centimeters in size (it can be deduced from the relationship with the size of the pine needles): as for the earth orchids, it is a plant for photography lovers. only by zooming in on the photos can we discover and enjoy their incredible beauty or strangeness!

this instead is a

ASARUM CAMPANIFLORUM

(the shape of the flower is explanatory of the name).

the cultural characteristics they are identical to the asarum splendens (also sharing the habitat of origin), compared to which the campaniflorum has slightly larger dimensions.

me too'leaf system it is a bit larger and a glossy, intense green.

this asarum is protected in summer by lilies and various hemerocallis hybrids, and, behind it, by numerous zingiberaceae. also here very dense plants that sprout just after its flowering and grow enveloping this beautiful plant protecting it for the whole summer period.

in autumn these "tall" companions lose their leaves and the stems dry up (becoming an excellent protective mulch which by the time of spring will have completely decomposed in the soil, feeding it). so in the cold seasons the sun filters until it reaches the asarum, but in this case the intensity of the sun's rays is decidedly lower and also this is the period of vegetative restart of our plant after the summer slowdown, to which greater lighting, despite everything, it will bring benefit and flowering (in the case of campaniflorum really copious: up to 20 or more flowers that open in succession!)

the genus asarum includes numerous species, including European ones.


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