Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

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Arisaema triphyllum

Light: Part shade - shade
Soil: Medium wet – medium dry
Height: 2 feet
Bloom: May

Description: Jack-in-the-Pulpit is an excellent woodland garden plant. It is easy to cultivate and requires very little care once established. It thrives under a variety of conditions, but grows best in rich soil, shady, seasonally moist locations. The "Jack" is the spongy cylindrical structure, inside a leaf-like structure that is rolled into a deep cup with an overhanging roof, the "pulpit". The plant is said to have a burning, peppery taste so herbivores will not eat it but the berries are a food source for birds. These berries form mid-summer and are smooth, shiny green, 1 cm wide clustered on the thickened spadix, turning a bright red color before the plants go dormant early fall.

Attracts: The flowers are pollinated by fungus gnats and the larvae of parasitic thrips. Mammalian herbivores rarely eat this plant. However, some upland gamebirds feed on the foliage occasionally, including Wild Turkey. The red berries are eaten by some woodland birds, including Hylocichla mustelina (Wood Thrush) and the Wild Turkey.