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0 INTRODUCTION: Why a book on Arum.

1 OF FIRE & SERPENTS: The mythical roots of Arum’s name, its links to Hebrew words for serpents and wisdom, with the ancient sumerian words for fire and a look at the wealth of associations with its many folk names.

2 A RIOT OF NAMES: A list of all 175 of Arum’s folk names.

GALLERY 1: BIRTH: A photographic exhibition of Arum’s first stage of life.

3 THE ARCHETYPAL ARUM: An introduction to the Arum of the herbals, how the ancients described plants and the idea of the ‘Arum’.

4 THE ARUM OF THE MANUSCRIPTS: The earliest herbals, the first encyclopaedia and the most influential herbal manuscript ever written.

5 THE ARUM OF THE ANGLO-SAXON MAGICAL HEALERS: A look at two ancient herbal traditions from the British Isles, which both mention Arum.

6 THE AGE OF THE HERBALS: The Elizabethan Era, the rise of the classic ‘herbal’ and Arum’s place within this profusion of herbal literature.

7 ARUM THE TRICKSTER HEALER: The rise and fall of Arum’s medicinal role and its place in the herbal literature.

8 A MISCELLANY & THE TRUTH ABOUT BEARS: How an ancient myth concerning Arum’s assistance to bears awakening from hibernation has been proven true and Arum’s appearance in a saintly myth from the fenlands of East Anglia.

GALLERY 2: LIFE: A photographic exhibition of the most exuberant and salacious stage of Arum’s yearly span. Adopting its characteristic cowl and pintle, it embodies the most potent symbolism of sexuality, fertility, danger and serpentine wisdom.

9 THE NOURISHING ARUM: A look at how Arum has been used for food in both ancient, recent and even contemporary times.

10 THE ARUM OF FASHION: How Arum made possible one of the most famous items of fashion ever seen.

11 PORTLAND. THE ISLAND ARUM: How a small island on the south coast of England rose to fame on the back of Arum’s starch strength and one woman’s heroic efforts to solve the choice gripping 18th Century England: food or laundry.

12 THE POISON ARUM: A look at the formidable mechanisms of how Arum’s poisonous qualities actually work.

GALLERY 3: DEATH: A Photographic exhibition of Arum’s period of decaying senescence. Arum now becomes its very own grotesquery; drooping, twisting, drying or rotting as it sees fit.

13 ARUM IN EVOLUTION: Arum’s role in an early debate on the new theory of ‘evolution’ and the wonderful description given to it by the disapproving church authorities of the time.

14 MEET THE ARUM FAMILY: The modern day classification of Arum and its family members, from traditional taxonomy to modern day genetic analysis.

15 THE MULTI-ORGASMIC ARUM: Arum’s baroque and heated strategy of reproduction.

16 ARUM IN ART & LITERATURE: Arum’s influence on, symbolism in and appearance in art and literature down the ages.

GALLERY 4: REBIRTH: A photographic exhibition of Arum’s final life stage when Arum set its green maces afire with lip-red berries swaying in celebration. The red of the underworld and the blood of rebirth.

17 THE ARUM OF MYTH & FOLKLORE: Arum the shaman plant, the serpent plant, the creator god in plant form. The power of Arum to stir archetypes and inspire the ongoing creativity of myth and story telling.


1. An Arum Timeline
2. A Medicinal Timeline
3. A Culinary Timeline
The timelines provide an overview of the most important or interesting events relating to Arum. The first gives an overall timeline of Arum related events generally. The second and third provide more detailed information on the medicinal and culinary related events respectively.

BIBLIOGRAPHY : Extra reading resources are given at the end of every chapter, providing sources of further information on material specific to that chapter’s subject. The bibliography provides the full list of the extensive resources which have been drawn on in the writing of this book.