has proved the most reliable of the well-named cobra
lilies in my garden. An Asian woodlander, it stages an exciting spring
ambush in the shadows, rearing up almost 3ft high, and displaying its broad
hood on a stout mottled stem. It wants good drainage and cool, moist
conditions (with me, it gets equal parts soil-based ericaceous compost,
shredded pine bark and lime-free grit); soil should be acid to neutral.
Some of its arum cousins attract flies and give off disgusting smells, but
this one seems benign. Now that I have tested its reliability, I shall be
adding more next spring, hoping to conjure up a little forest of them among
the ferns and upturned tree stumps of my raised bed. Z5.