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Arisaema triphyllum

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Kemper Code:  J400

Common Name: jack-in-the-pulpit
Zone: 4 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Araceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern North America
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: April - May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Green/purple
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium


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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Best grown in fertile, medium to wet soil in part shade to full shade. Needs constantly moist soil rich in organic matter. Does poorly in heavy clay soils. May be grown from seed, but takes five years for plant to flower.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a spring woodland wildflower usually growing 1- 2' tall. 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. 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. Flowering plants initially produce only male flowers, but become hermaphroditic as they further age (male flowers on 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.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems.

Uses:

Best left undisturbed in the shady woodland garden, wild garden or native plant garden.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011


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