Arisaema ringens tuber pen and ink on Bristol board
Arisaema ringens tuber pen and ink on Bristol board A4

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Arisaema ringens tuber

Pen and ink on Bristol board, unframed


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An original pen and ink illustration of an Arisaema ringens tuber.

Botanical details

Japanese common name: Musashi-abumi. Abumi are early Japanese stirrups, Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584 – June 13, 1645) was an expert Japanese swordsman and rōnin. My conjecture is that the common name may mean Mushahi’s stirrups. The abumi are very similar in shape to the hooded spathe of A. ringens.

Section Pistillata (Engl.) Nakai, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 43:525 (1929); G. & L Gusman, stat. nov. Subsection Ringentia (Engl.) G. & L. Gusman, stat. nov.

A. ringens is quite unique amongst Pistillata, in that it has a galeate inflorescence (helmet shaped/hooded), a simple eophyll (first leaf) and a creamy white receptacle. The galeate inflorescence is similar to A. galeatum, in the Arisaema section, however the shape of the spadix appendage shows its relation within Pistillata. It is popularly cultivated because of its great foliage and fantastic inflorescence, but it seldom produces ripe fruits, probably due to lack of a good pollinator outside of its natural environment.

Deciduous, to 110cm tall and 80cm wide, distribution through Japan; Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Ryukyu, S Korea, China; Taiwan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Woodland clearings in leafy soil at low altitude near the seacoast. Flowering period March to May, ripening November.

“The Genus Arisaema, A Monograph for Botanist and Nature Lovers“, Guy and Liliane Gusman, 2006, A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G. “Flora of Japan (in English)”, Jisaburo Ohwi, National Science Museum, Tokyo, Japan. A combined, much revised, and extended translation by the author of his FLORA OF JAPAN (1953) FLORA OF JAPAN— PTERIDOPHYTA (1957) Edited by Frederick G. Meyer Research Botanist, U.S. National Arboretum and Egbert H. Walker Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION WASHINGTON, D.C. 1965

© Marianne Hazlewood