Monday, May 2, 2011

Plant of the Week: Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jack-in-the-pulpit Wuakau Creek, WI

This common spring wildflower is easy to overlook in the moist woods and swamps where it is found.  However, once located it is an interesting if not beautiful wildflower.  The flower is formed in a special way called a spathe, reminiscent of carnivorous pitcher plants.  This is the flower of the plant and not a modified insect-eating leaf like that of the pitcher plant, although it often traps insects.  The plants produce flowers of different sexes depending on how much reserves are stored in an underground stem called a corm.  The fertilized female flowers produce a cluster of bright red berries in fall (Eastman 1992).

More about Jack-in-the-Pulpit

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