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Arisaema triphyllum is often confused with:
Arisaema ringens Arisaema ringens
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Trillium erectum Flowers
Viola macloskeyi Viola macloskeyi
Trillium grandiflorum Flowers

Indian Cradle Arisaema triphyllum

Phonetic Spelling
air-ih-SAY-mah try-FY-lum
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Commonly called Jack-in-the-pulpit, this native plant is a spring woodland wildflower, usually growing 1- 2' tall.  The spadix or 'Jack' has a columnar form with a sheath that is called a spathe or 'pulpit'.

Flowering plants initially produce only male flowers, but become hermaphroditic as they further age (male flowers on the upper part of spadix and female on the lower part). Most plants in a colony will vanish by mid-summer (become dormant), but the mature, hermaphroditic flowering plant will produce a cluster of red berries in mid to late summer which becomes visible as the spathe withers. Roots contain calcium oxalate (same chemical as in Diffenbachia or dumb cane) and are poisonous.

This unique plant, which is pollinated by flies and gnats, has the ability to change gender.  A plant that starts out as male can spontaneously change to female the next year and vice versa.  Pollinators crawl beneath the spathe, down the spadix while collecting pollen.

Spreading by cormlets sent out from the main root allow this plant to colonize.  It also produces rhizomes.

Jack-in-the-pulpit is best grown in fertile, medium to wet soil in part shade to full shade. It needs constantly moist soil rich in organic matter. It does poorly in heavy clay soils. It may be grown from seed, but takes five years for the plant to flower. This plant is generally found in a forest or natural area in moist woods, along creeks, or in the landscape, as a cultivated herbaceous perennial.

The presence of concentrations of calcium oxalate crystals cause this plant to be toxic to humans when ingested.  It also deters wildlife such as deer from consuming the foliage.  

Allow heavy, leafy cover should be allowed to remain through the winter months.

Propagation can be accomplished by division or from seed.  When the seed method is used, it can take up to 2 years for germination to occur.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No significant insect or disease issues.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Wild Side- A Shady Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#perennials#white flowers#wildlife plant#shade garden#showy leaves#spring flowers#showy fruits#stream banks#moist soil#food source wildlife#fire low flammability#NC native#rich soils#deer resistant#spadix#turtles#red fruits#native garden#striped leaves#long lifespan#spring interest#edible garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source fall#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#partial shade tolerant#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#Audubon#clay soils intolerant#colonizing#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#showy#colony
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#showy flowers#deciduous#poisonous#perennials#white flowers#wildlife plant#shade garden#showy leaves#spring flowers#showy fruits#stream banks#moist soil#food source wildlife#fire low flammability#NC native#rich soils#deer resistant#spadix#turtles#red fruits#native garden#striped leaves#long lifespan#spring interest#edible garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source fall#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#partial shade tolerant#HS302#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#Audubon#clay soils intolerant#colonizing#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#showy#colony
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Arisaema
    Species:
    triphyllum
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. Canada to Central & E. U.S.A
    Distribution:
    Throughout
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The fruits are eaten by songbirds and eastern box turtles.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    heavy shade, deer, wet soil, fire in the landscape
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Bright red, berry-like fruit. Displays from June to October. Each berry can contain 1 to 5 seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Spadix
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Jack-in-the-pulpit has club-like spadix with tiny flowers at the base, with green or purple hood, often marked with whitish stripes (though it could have purple or brown stripes on a green hood). Blooms from March to April. More specifically, the flower structure consists of the spadix (Jack) which is an erect spike containing numerous, tiny, green to purple flowers and the sheath-like spathe (pulpit) which encases the lower part of the spadix and then opens to form a hood extending over the top of the spadix. The outside of the spathe is usually green or purple, and the inside is usually striped purple and greenish white, though considerable color variations exist.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Jack-in-the-pulpit has one to two leaves, originating at the base of the stem that is divided into three almost equal leaflets. More specifically, two large green, compound, long-petioled leaves (1-1.5' long), divided into three leaflets each, emanate upward from a single stalk and provide umbrella-like shade to the flower. The fleshy stalk and leaves lend an almost tropical aura to the plant.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Reptiles
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES SEVERE PAIN IN THE MOUTH IF EATEN! Poisonous through ingestion. (Poisonous parts: all parts). Symptoms may include: Irritation and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, excessive drooling, and vomiting (not horses). [For example, the roots contain calcium oxalate (same chemical as in Diffenbachia or dumb cane) and are poisonous.]
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems