Look! It's that palmate-leafed thing between the hostas and the privet.
I had given it up for dead this year. My sharp-eyed neighbor found it last year at the Maplewood Garden Club's spring sale. It was labeled Arisaema Tortuosum, a tender Asian, and it was not cheap. "The label's wrong", my confident friend assured me, "it is hardy, and you're getting it". We put it in a nice shady spot at the feet of the privet hedge, where it's cool and shady and wet all year round. I tried to enjoy it, but worried about its survival prospects through a brutal summer. I was not surprised when its leaves dried and it was gone without a trace in August. I looked all spring for it this year, then gave it up for dead sometime in May. I was surprised to see its remarkable leaf sending up its signal flare (look over here!) this weekend. I followed it down to the ground to see this:
That's the leaf stem coming towards the camera
Definitely not A. Tortuosum, which has a pale green spathe. It must be some sort of A. Speciosum. I love the fact that I have to walk into the bed, part the shrubbery and ferns, and bend over to look at such a weird thing. I also kind of love the fact that it seems alien and impossible to photograph well, but I know that's due to my six-year old camera.
I promise to have faith in its eventual return when the mothership takes it away in August.