Arisaema speciosum has medium-sized chocolate-maroon coloured spathes with white stripes arranged in a vertical fan-shape. The tip of the spathe hood is elongated and often droops down and together with the long attenuated spadix appendage gives this Arisaema one of its common names, the Double Whip Cobra Lily. Before the spathe fully opens it often resembles the beaked silhouette of a long-beaked bird.
The leaves are dramatically exotic and have three large segments that are heavily rugose underneath and margined with red.
Arisaema speciosum does best in the dappled semi-shade & excellent drainage. It should be planted with plenty of sharp sand and coarse bark immediately surrounding the tubers & will thrive in an organically-rich surrounding substrate with plenty of leaf mould and humus.
Once potted they should be watered sparingly when their new roots are shoot emerging, thus minimizing the chances of the tuber rot.
When the root system has developed and leaves begin to unfold from the leaf-sheates, they can be watered regularly and fertilized with slow release fertilizers.
Once the flowering is complete and the leaves turn yellow, watering should be discontinued and tubers given rest during their dormancy period.
Arisaema speciosum makes a bold statement in the garden
The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall. This means most large bulbs like tulips or daffodils will be planted about 8 inches deep while smaller bulbs will be planted 3-4 inches deep. Planting depth is measured from the bottom of the bulb.