Arum creticum


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Key information

Plant type

Tender perennial

Flower colour



Scented flowers



Skill level


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Plant details

This is perhaps the boldest and most magnificent of the arums qand comes from stony hillsides of Crete. In spring it bears bright yellow blooms with floppy spathes, each surrounding the suggestively protruding, poker-like, yellow spadix. Unlike most of the genus, these are sweetly scented. One botanist, writing with the enthusiasm of a wine correspondent describing the latest antipodean Chardonnay, extols it as, smelling strongly of freesia and lemon with a slightly sour overtone, reminiscent of naptha at close quarters. Although remarkably hardy, it is perhaps best grown in a pot for maximum admiration.

Family: Araceae

Genus: Arum

Species: creticum

Plant type: Tender perennial

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Scented flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Tender

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 45cm

Spread: 15cm

Reader reviews

Jean-Marie Le Bars

Well, A. creticum is in bloom actually, grown in a pot in my garden. Unlike what I usually read (and, hence, what I expected), it smells a little bit like most others Arums (like A. italicum, maculatum or dioscoridis), but with a sweeter tone.

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