Arisaema ringens

cobra lily

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

One of the earliest of the cobra lilies to emerge from the ground, this species can pop up as early as March or as late as June. Alien-like leaves sprout out with a bizarre deep brownish-black hooded flower vividly striped in white. The flowers last for a long time in the cool spring weather and if you are lucky they will produce seed heads that will ripen to a bright red-orange in early fall. The large leaves are almost trillium-like in their appearance, but they have a glossy, waxy texture and a bright green color that is eye catching in the shade garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 9 in. (0.23 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: green, purple

Sun/Light Exposure: light to deep shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, Dryopteris lepidopoda, Smilacena racemosa, Polystichum setiferum Plumosomultilobum Group, Pulmonaria longifolia ssp. cevennensis

Great Color Contrasts: blue, silver, bronze

Great Color Partners: green, brown

Culture Notes
Arisaemas grow best in a rich well-drained soil, preferring a sandy loose soil. Choose a location with light, open, dappled or deep shade and avoid hot afternoon sun. Do not bury the tuber too deep, it will grow best when the top is covered by an inch or less of loose sandy soil and compost. Water these plants regularly in the summer. Arisaema can be very slow to sprout in the spring, sometimes they may not start growing until early to mid-summer. Be patient especially with newly planted tubers.