According to Kew Species Profiles[KSP]
- General Description
Arisaema consanguineum is a striking plant with rather sinister-looking flowers and bold foliage.
Arisaema consanguineum is an exotic-looking tuberous perennial, with arum-like flowers, usually striped brown and cream. It is widely available in British nurseries and adds an exotic note to the garden. It is a variable species, which is perhaps unsurprising due to its wide distribution in Asia, and although plants originating from the Himalaya are hardy in southern England, those from Thailand, for example, need glasshouse protection. It is therefore of practical use to know the origin of a plant before purchasing a specimen.
This species was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794-1865), Director of the Imperial Gardens at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. He was one of the great experts on the aroid family and produced numerous beautifully illustrated books on the subject.
- Species Profile
Geography and distribution
Arisaema consanguineum subsp. consanguineumis native to northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, northern Thailand, Laos and China. Arisaema consanguineum subsp. kelung-insulareis restricted to Taiwan. It is found at elevations of 1000–3200 m.
Arisaema consanguineum is a tuberous perennial, up to 1 m tall. It has a single leaf (rarely two), with several narrow leaflets, tapering to a thread-like tail. The flowers appear May–July and have a green, or brown and cream striped spathe (about 5 cm long) with a long, narrow point and a whitish, club-shaped spadix. The flowers are followed by a cluster of red berries.
Threats and conservation
Arisaema consanguineum is common in many parts of China.
Arisaema consanguineum is grown as an ornamental. In Nepal, the leaves are boiled and eaten as vegetables. The tubers of many species of Arisaema, including A. consanguineum, are used in the Himalaya and China for a variety of medicinal purposes. For example, A. consanguineum is traditionally used to treat coughs, epilepsy and rheumatism. However, all parts of the plant contain oxalic acid and calcium oxalate crystals (raphides) which are strongly irritating, and can produce severe poisoning if eaten without proper preparation. In India, for example, this species, the common name of which is snake cob, has been responsible for livestock poisoning.
This species at Kew
Arisaema consanguineum can be seen in the Woodland Garden at Kew Gardens and in the Bog Garden at Wakehurst.
Pressed and dried and alcohol-preserved specimens of Arisaema consanguineum are held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to researchers from around the world, by appointment. The details of some of these specimens, including images, can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.
- Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand
- Pine forests, mixed conifer/deciduous forests, thickets, grassy slopes and lakesides between rocks.
- Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.
All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid and calcium oxalate crystals (raphides) which are strongly irritating and can result in severe poisoning if eaten. Can only be eaten safely after being properly processed and cooked.
First published in Bonplandia (Hannover) 7: 27 (1859)
-  (2012) Flora of Thailand 11(2): 101-325. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.
-  Gusman, G. & Gusman, L. (2006) The Genus Arisaema. A monograph for botanists and nature lovers , ed. 2: 1-474. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.
-  (2005) Makinoa 5: 1-102
-  Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002) World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae) . The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
-  Govaerts, R. (1995) World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
-  (2010) Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis. [Cited as Arisaema erubescens.]
-  World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). Arisaema consanguineum. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
-  Bown, D. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London.
-  Manandhar, N.P. (2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
-  Phillips, R. & Rix, M. (1989). Bulbs. Pan Books, London.
-  Mayo, S. (1984). Arisaema consanguineum. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 1(2): 59-61.
-  Chopra, R.N., Badhwar, R.L. & Ghosh, S. (1965). Poisonous Plants of India, Vol. II. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.Gusman, G. & Gusman, L. (2006). The Genus Arisaema. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
-  Riedl, H.H. (1965). Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794-1865). Taxon 14(7): 209-213.
International Plant Names Index
The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
[A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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[E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0