Mouse Plant Arisarum proboscideum

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
mouse plant


The plant known as mouse tail plant is notable for its unique flower appearance. It produces peculiar brownish or maroon spathes that are often shaped like a hood with a long, thin tail-like extension. This tail-like spike, which can be quite intriguing to look at, earns the plant its common name, as it resembles a mouse's tail. The flowers are usually found close to the ground, partially hidden among the foliage. The leaves of the mouse tail plant are heart-shaped, with smooth edges and deep veins running through them. They are typically a lush green color, forming an attractive carpet of foliage that serves as a backdrop to the curious flowers. The overall impression of the mouse tail plant is of a whimsical, almost storybook character, with its peculiar flowers nestled among vibrant green leaves.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Mouse Plant, Mouse Tail Plant

    • Common names

      Arisarum vulgare subsp. proboscideum, Arum proboscideum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as mouse plant (Arisarum proboscideum) is not commonly listed as a poisonous plant for humans. However, plants within the Araceae family, to which the mouse plant belongs, often contain calcium oxalate crystals which can be irritating. If ingested, parts of the plant could potentially cause mild symptoms such as irritation of the mouth, lips, and throat, difficulty in swallowing, and gastrointestinal discomfort. It is advised to avoid eating any part of the mouse plant and to handle with care, as the sap may cause skin irritation.

    • To pets

      For pets, the mouse plant (Arisarum proboscideum) could be potentially irritating or harmful if ingested. Similar to the effects in humans, the presence of calcium oxalate crystals can cause oral and gastrointestinal irritation. Symptoms in pets might include drooling, pawing at the mouth, oral pain, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. It is recommended to keep the mouse plant out of reach of pets and to seek veterinary assistance if signs of poisoning appear after ingestion.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5 feet (15 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5 feet (15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: The Mouse Plant (Arisarum proboscideum) adds unique visual interest to gardens with its unusual mouse-tail shaped flowers and attractive foliage.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant can thrive in shaded areas where other plants might struggle, making it ideal for woodland gardens or shady borders.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care once established, making it a good choice for busy gardeners or those looking for low-maintenance landscaping options.
    • Growth Habit: The Mouse Plant naturally forms clumps, which can be useful for filling gaps and creating a full, lush garden without requiring constant attention.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can adapt to a range of soil types, as long as the soil is well-draining, offering flexibility in garden design and plant placement.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Although not specifically cultivated for this purpose, the flowers may attract various insects, thus contributing to the biodiversity of the garden ecosystem.
    • Seasonal Interest: Its distinctive flowers bloom in the spring, providing early seasonal interest after the winter months.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Arisarum proboscideum, commonly known as the mouse plant, can be used as a conversation piece in gardens due to its unique mouse-tail shaped flowers.
    • In educational settings, the mouse plant can serve as an example of plant mimicry and adaptation to interest students in botany and evolution.
    • It can act as a groundcover in shaded garden areas where other ornamental plants might struggle to thrive.
    • The mouse plant can be used in fairy gardens due to its whimsical appearance that might suggest fantasy and charm.
    • As part of a sensory garden, the distinctive shape of its flowers can provide a tactile experience for visitors to explore.
    • In photography, the unusual blossoms can be a compelling subject for macro photography enthusiasts.
    • Arisarum proboscideum contributes to the biodiversity of a garden by providing an unusual flower form compared to typical blooms.
    • Garden designers might use the mouse plant to create a 'surprise element' in garden corners, showcasing an eye-catching oddity.
    • The plant can be used in themed gardens, like a 'mouse' or 'animal' themed garden, along with other plants that have animal-associated names.
    • In container gardening, especially on balconies or patios with shade, the mouse plant offers a unique aesthetic without needing full sunlight.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Mouse Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Mouse Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Uniqueness: Also known as the Mouse Plant, due to its peculiar blossom shape resembling a mouse's tail, Arisarum proboscideum symbolizes uniqueness and whimsy within the plant world.
    • Mystery: The Mouse Plant's unique and unusual flower structure, which is designed to attract pollinators as well as protect itself, represents the element of mystery in nature, with hidden aspects to discover.
    • Protection: With its distinctive flower acting as a shelter for the sexual parts of the plant, Arisarum proboscideum can symbolize protection and the importance of safeguarding the vulnerable.
    • Adaptation: Thriving in shaded woodland areas, the Mouse Plant represents adaptation, with its ability to grow and flourish in light-limited environments.
    • Curiosity: The unusual appearance of the Mouse Plant often sparks curiosity and interest, symbolizing the human trait of being drawn to explore and understand the peculiarities in our environment.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Mouse Plant, or Arisarum proboscideum, prefers consistently moist soil and should be watered once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. In general, this might mean watering once a week, but this frequency can vary depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. When you water, add water slowly to the soil around the plant until it begins to drain through the bottom of the pot. As a rough guide, this could amount to about 16-24 ounces of water for a medium-sized pot, but always adjust as necessary for your plant's size and the pot's drainage.

  • sunLight

    The Mouse Plant thrives in partial to full shade, making it ideal for spots that don't receive direct sunlight. The best location for this plant is one where it can be exposed to bright, indirect light or dappled sunlight, such as under a canopy of larger plants or in a north-facing window. Avoid placing it in direct sun, which can scorch its leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Mouse Plant's ideal temperature range is between 60°F and 75°F. This plant can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 45°F, making it suitable for growing outdoors in temperate regions. However, it's important to protect the Mouse Plant from extreme cold, as temperatures below this minimum threshold can damage the plant. Avoid exposing it to temperatures above 80°F, as excessive heat can lead to stress and wilting.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Mouse Plant as needed to remove yellowed or dead leaves and to maintain its shape. This light maintenance can be performed any time of year but is best done in the spring before new growth begins. There's usually no need for heavy pruning, and the plant generally requires just the occasional tidying up to keep it looking its best.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Mouse Plant requires well-draining soil with a high amount of organic matter. A mix of two parts peat or coco coir, one part perlite, and one part compost is ideal for this peculiar plant. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Mouse Plants should be repotted every two to three years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. It's also a good time to divide the tubers if the plant has become overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Mouse Plant thrives best in moderate to high humidity levels. While the plant can tolerate lower humidity, maintaining a level around 60% will mimic its native woodland conditions and contribute to its overall health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Mouse Plant in bright, indirect light indoors with moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Keep Mouse Plant in partial shade outdoors with moist, rich soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Mouse Plant (Arisarum proboscideum) begins its life cycle with seed germination in the spring, followed by the development of a tuber underground. The plant then produces distinctive arrow-shaped leaves and peculiar brown-purple flowers with long, mouse tail-like spathes that appear in the spring. After pollination, which is typically performed by flies attracted to the flower's scent, the Mouse Plant sets seed in small clusters of red berries that ripen underground. Throughout the summer, the foliage dies back and the plant enters a dormant phase, conserving energy in the tuber. During autumn and winter, the plant remains dormant underground until the temperatures rise again, signaling the next growing season's restart. With each cycle, the tuber can grow larger, allowing the plant to spread and form colonies if conditions are favorable.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Mouse Plant (Arisarum proboscideum) is through division. This is best done in the autumn after the foliage has died back or in early spring before growth resumes. Carefully dig up the tuberous rhizomes and gently separate them into smaller pieces, ensuring that each division has at least one growth point. Replant the divisions immediately at a depth of about 2 inches (5 centimeters), spaced approximately 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) apart, in moist, well-drained soil. Water the new plants thoroughly and keep the soil consistently moist to encourage establishment.