Wild Arum is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in woodland, hedgerows and shady ground, to a mature height of up to 50cm.
The flowering structures of the Wild Arum act as an elaborate 'fly trap' to ensure effective pollination. Wild Arum attracts Owl Midges and other flies for pollination by mimicking the smell and heat generated by rotting plants and dung. The centre of the plant can rise to 15 degrees Celsius above the surrounding temperature. Once attracted, landing flies slip into the base of the flower where they are trapped from escape by downward pointing hairs, and they both pass on and take up pollen. These hairs eventually shrivel, releasing the flies to visit another plant to exchange pollen for pollination.
Botanic classification and naming: Wild Arum is a member of the Arum (Araceae) family. The genus name
'Arum' identifies the plant as a Arum, a plant with tiny flowers borne on a trucheon-like 'spadix', sheathed within a 'spathe' and its species name 'maculatum' means 'spotted (leaves)'.
Concerns: The sap of Wild Arum is poisonous and can cause allergy, skin irritation and damage. It also bears attractive red berries, which are highly toxic to humans.
Benefits: The ripe berries provide a food source for rodents and birds.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.