Sunday, 16 May 2010

Jack in the Pulpit

Arisaema triphyllum  (Jack in the Pulpit)  is a wood land native to South Eastern Ontario, and the Niagara Region which is part of it. Or the Eastern part of the Ontario Peninsula. That is the area that is framed by Lake Huron to the North, North-West, Lake Erie to the South and Lake Ontario up to Toronto to the East. They are a wonderful plant and very interesting to look at. They remind me of the Calla Lily with top folded over.


Description:  Jack-in-the-pulpit produces one to two 3-lobed leaves up to a half meter  high. The leaves appear in early spring as does the flower, which is composed of a green-and-purple striped spathe bent over at its tip to partly hide the green club-like spadix. After the flower fades, a cluster of bright red berries appears and lasts for much of the summer. The leaves fade away in midsummer if the plant is not watered regularly but grow back in spring from an underground tuber.

Growing: This plant naturally grows on rich, moist forest floors and so is perfectly suited to shady gardens. Add plenty of compost or peat moss at planting time.

Propagating: By offsets or seed sown 1 cm deep. Seed sown in fall germinates the following spring.

Uses: Plant near a path or the front of the garden where its surprising flowers will be noticed. Jack-in-the-pulpit is an ideal choice for shady spots in the wild flower garden.

Related species: Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium), a native of North America, has a green flower like that of its cousin but with a long, pointed hip-like spadix and a small spathe. Its deeply divided leaves and red berries make it attractive for long periods.


  1. i used to take pictures of these little guys where i worked in the country, but they sure never turned out like your pictures sonny!
    i always thought that they were bulbs.
    you are sure right about the red clusters of berries that they have. i had several good pictures of them and i think i made a ruby tuesday of them one time.
    now you could make a nice ruby tuesday of the jack-in-the-pulpit from beginning to end sonny when those red berries appear. that would be really neat!..thanks for posting these for me and my new friend terry

  2. I let mine self seed now and I started a great crop of these. Now with this years I am going to plant them so they will spread out from where they are. I hope to have in the years to come a solid row of them near my back door

  3. I think it takes about three years for them to start flowering. I am not sure about that though. The ones that started this spring from last year are rather small single leafed plants, with no blooms. They are actually in the wrong place but I will let them be.