Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Arum maculatum L.


Name: Arum maculatum L.
Croatian name: Kozlac
English name: Lords and Ladies
Familia: Araceae

This is a common woodland plant that is widespread in temperate Europe. It is about 30 cm tall and grows from the oval shaped tuber. The leaves appear in April followed by inflorescence called a spadix. What appears to be a flower is a hood called spathe that hides the inflorescence. The flowers are clustered at the base of spadix. There is a ring of female flowers at the bottom and a ring of male flowers above them. The spathe forms a trap for the insects that pollinate the flowers. There is a ring of hairs above the male flowers. When an insect came in, it is trapped by hairs and dusted by pollen of the male flowers. When the hairs dry out, the insect is free to go out carrying the pollen to another plant and pollinating the female flowers. The insects are attracted by the smell of rotten meat.

The spathe

The spadix may be white in colour but it is usually purple. The leaves are arrow shaped with purple spots on it. Sometimes the spathe also has spots, but I noticed the specimens with no spots at all either on leaves or spathe.

Fruit



Fruits are bright red shiny berries that remain on the spadix long after male flowers and spathe die out. They seem to be loved by birds, especially pheasants.

NB: The plant is poisonous.

Location: Lipik

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