Maryland Native Plants for Spring: Arisaema triphyllum – Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Feb 22, 2024 | Blog, Native Plant Spotlight

Signs of Spring

Arisaema triphyllum – Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack in the pulpit info card


Arisaema triphyllum, also called Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a shade loving species that grows in rich, moist, deciduous woods and floodplains. It is a spring ephemeral that emerges in April. This species will spread and colonize over time from an acidic corm and it pollinated by small flies. The mature flower is a striped green and maroon spathe surrounding a fleshy, maroon-colored spadix that bears the tiny, embedded flowers. Once pollinated the plant bears  showy, bright red berries that are an attractive food source for birds.

Jack-in-the-pulpits are diaceous, however they can alter the sex of their flowers in a generation which is an adaptation that reflects the resources required to set fruit. If sufficient carbohydrates have been stored in the plant’s corm, a spadix that had male flowers may produce female flowers the following year: “Jack” becomes “Jill”. Prefers consistently moist soil rich in organic matter. Best planted in a woodland setting, and left undisturbed once established.

Common Name: jack-in-the-pulpit
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Green/purple
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Wet Soil, Black Walnut
(Information from Missouri Botanical Garden)
Jack in the pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers and foliage

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