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This genus consists of 25 species of tuberous perennials, all of which undergo a season of dormancy. They usually have striking foliage, with attractive markings, but the plants are poisonous and the sap is an irritant. Often known as Lords and Ladies.

These plants are found from Europe to the Middle East and in western China. Most produce flowers in spring or early summer, which are followed by red or orange berries.


They prefer an open situation, but not full sun. Moisture requirements depend on the species, but they generally require plenty of water when in active growth, but considerably less during dormancy.