Green Arrow Arum (Virginica)

The Green Arrow Arum (Virginica) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring . The Green Arrow Arum (Virginica) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with a moderate amount of conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the spring and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Green Arrow Arum (Virginica) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a slow growth rate. At maturity, the typical Green Arrow Arum (Virginica) will reach up to 2.3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Green Arrow Arum (Virginica) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by seed, sprigs. It has a rapid ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -23°F. has none tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Expansive stands of arrow arum often develop in the marginal waters it inhabits. The foliage and stems in these stands create a wave deflecting or buffering barrier, while the root masses knit together and stabilize the submerged sediments. The roots and shoots translocate methane from the substrate. Arrow arum fruit is a preferred food of wood ducks, and is also eaten by muskrats and rails. The foliage is seldom damaged, providing good cover to waterfowl, wading birds, insects, and aquatic mammals.

General Characteristics

The bright green, smooth, succulent, arrow- to heart-shaped leaves of arrow arum (Peltandra virginica) emerge annually from perennial bulbs. The bulbs are tufted with thick fibrous roots. The 4 to 30 inch long ascending leaves are 3 to 8 inches wide, and have three prominent veins with an abrupt, sharp tip.

Arrow arum is monoecious, with both male and female parts contained in a partially closed 4 to 8 inch green spathe. It blooms from May to July. As the fruit matures the entire flowering stem curves downward, immersing the spathe. The green berry-like fruit is up to 1/2 inch long, and usually contains one seed. Upon separation from the flowering stem, this floatable fruit begins to turn black

Required Growing Conditions

The native range of arrow arum is from Maine to Ontario and Michigan, south to Florida, Louisiana, and Missouri. It commonly inhabits shallow water areas of marshes, bogs, swamps, stream and river bottoms, lakes, ponds, and ditches. This emergent requires unconsolidated silty or organic sites, which are open, and saturated or inundated up to 1 foot. It will tolerate pHs of 3.0 to 9.5, and salinity up to 2 ppt.

Cultivation and Care

Arrow arum predominantly relies on its seed production for re-establishment and population distribution, but it can be propagated vegetatively. There are an average of 500 cleaned seeds per pound. When the fruit of this species falls into or is stored in water, the fruit coating swells and ruptures. The seed separates, sinks, then begins to germinate if site conditions are adequate. This same seedling development process can easily be replicated in cultivated fields or in greenhouses. Vegetative propagation is by root bulb divisions. The bulbs form in layers around a root mass, which may be as deep as 8 inches. Once dug, the bulbs are broken from the root mass, then either directly planted or transplanted into containers or production beds. One mature plant may produce up to ten of these planting units.

General Upkeep and Control

If planted into soils with low organic contents, arrow arum responds well to applications of commercial fertilizer. Only marginal effect is expected with the addition of fertilizers on adequate sites. To sustain good vigorous plant growth, soils must be deep and maintained at the saturation point, or inundated to a depth shallower than the leaves. Once established, this species tolerates partial shade, but young seedlings need direct sunlight. If managing for seed production, timely harvest is necessary, since ripe fruit are readily consumed by wood ducks and muskrats. No other damaging pests have been documented or observed.

In the Northeast, arrow arum grows in association with facultative wetland trees and shrubs, wild rice, woolgrass, burreeds, and soft rush. In shallower open water it often is over topped by aggressive rhizomatous species.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) No known varieties are available, but wetland nurseries carry local or regional ecotypes.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Slow
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Period Spring
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Bunch
Drought Tolerance None
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 2.3
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Spring Fall
Seed Spread Rate Rapid
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Seed, Sprigs
Moisture Requirements High
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -23
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5.2–9.5 pH
Precipitation Range 35–35 inches/yr
Planting Density 10912–19000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Minimum Frost-Free Days 110 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Low
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Fire Resistant Yes
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA