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fruiting body

Top picture is of flower and bottom is of seedling


Arisaema triphyllum

Common Name: Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Family: Araceae

Description: This perennial is known for its distinctive flower and bright fruiting bodies.  
Commonly there is either on leaf or two leaves that end in three leaflets. The leaflets are elliptical in shape, green and pointed at both ends.
This strange looking flower consists of a pulpit structure or spathe, with a canopy folded over the top. It also has a distinctive striped pattern of green and purple-brown. The flowers appear between May and June and grown 3-4 inches high. 
A dense cluster of scarlet berries.
Stem:  Grows from a underground tuber.
Branching Pattern:
  Leaves arranged in whorled pattern around the stem
Height: 1-3 feet 
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:  shrubs, swamps moist soil, shade tolerant, moist forest and swamps, wet bogs and swamps
Known Wildlife Interactions: The flower is pollinated by insects. While, the fruit is eaten by small mammals such as raccoon, beaver, chipmunk; and birds.
Range:  Found in eastern North America from Quebec to Louisiana and Kansas.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Not threatened in U.S. or globally.
Uses (Human):
This plant can be eaten but first it has to be dried or cooked to neutralize the calcium oxylate.


Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Redington, Charles B. Plants in Wetlands. Redington Field Guides.1994. pg. 208

Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. 1977. pg. 36

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg. 368

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/25/06