JACK IN THE PULPIT
Botanical Name: Arisaema triphyllum
Plant Family: Arum (Araceae)
Description: The stem, bearing one or two three-parted leaves, reaches 1-3' in height. Flowering occurs at the junction between two leaves. What appears to be a flower is actually a spathe, or hood, enclosing a dense spike of tiny flowers. The species is highly variable in appearance, and some consider it to be a group of three species. As the spathe withers, it is replaced by a cluster of berries that turn bright red by late summer. By that time, the one-leaved, non-flowering younger plants have gone dormant.
Native Americans foraged the fleshy roots, sometimes called Indian turnips, which are poisonous until cooked or thoroughly dried.
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade; medium to wet, humus-rich soil.
Bloom Time: Early, Apr - Jun
Bloom Color: Green, purple, brown
Benefit to pollinators/wildlife: Birds and mammals eat the berries.
Native Status: Native to Eastern US.
Location in habitat: Woodland Garden