Plant DetailShow Menu

Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum

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

Arisaema triphyllum, commonly called Jack-in-the-pulpit, is a spring woodland wildflower usually growing 1- 2' tall. 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 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.

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 forest or natural area in moist woods, along creeks, or in the landscape, as cultivated herbaceous perennial.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:   Spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer 

Wildlife Value:  The fruits are eaten by songbirds and eastern box turtles.  It is moderately resistant to damage from deer.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#deciduous#songbirds#poisonous#partial shade#heavy shade#spring#perennial#green#red berries#wildlife plant#wildflowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#berries#wet sites#moist soil#low flammability#organic soils#deer resistant#spadix#summer fruit#turtles#stripes#stream#native garden#fire resistant#woodland#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#white#deciduous#songbirds#poisonous#partial shade#heavy shade#spring#perennial#green#red berries#wildlife plant#wildflowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#berries#wet sites#moist soil#low flammability#organic soils#deer resistant#spadix#summer fruit#turtles#stripes#stream#native garden#fire resistant#woodland#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Arisaema
    Species:
    triphyllum
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA, NC
    Distribution:
    Throughout
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The fruits are eaten by songbirds and eastern box turtles. It is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    heavy shade, deer, wet soil, fire in the landscape
    Edibility:
    Edible parts: roots edible when dried or cooks. Harvest time: only collect roots from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. Collect roots in early spring. Safe food handling: CAUTION, never eat raw. The roots are intensely bitter and can cause blisters. Wash roots thoroughly with warm water. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Dry for at least six months before eating. Peel, cut into small pieces, roast in the oven for at least one hour and grind into a flour or coffee grinder until quite fine. Add the ground root to bread doughs or muffin batters. Thin slices of the root, dried for 3 months, can be eaten as snacks or with potato chip dip.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • 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
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    It produces bright red, berry-like fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    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). 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:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Hairs Present:
    No
    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:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • 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. [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