South Dakota Native Plant Research
Araliaceae : Arisaema triphyllum

Araliaceae : Arisaema triphyllum


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Common Name



Arisaema triphyllum is a perennial herb, which grows from a corm, reaching 50 to 6 0 cm in height. Jack-in-the-pulpit is commonly found in moist to intermittently dry deciduous woods. The leaves are palmately divided into 3 leaflets, each ovate to elliptic and 6-22 cm long by 5-15 cm wide. The underside of the leaf is lighter than the upper side. The inflorescence is a spadix that is concealed by the spathe. The plants are monoecious with the pistillate flowers basal and staminate flowers above, on a spadix that is 5-8 cm long. The inner surface of the hood is purple to brownish red with yellow linear veins. The plants bloom from May to June. The fruit are fleshy red berries 5-7 mm long that become visible as the spathe dies back.

Additional Notes

Jack-in-the-Pulpit is an excellent woodland garden plant. It grows well under a variety of conditions, but best in rich soil, shady, seasonally wet locations. Birds and mammals eat the berries. This species produces calcium oxalate crystals and other acrid substances that make the berries, foliage, and roots of this plant painful to the mouth and throat if ingested.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect fruits in fall when the berries are red in the fall. Remove the small brown seeds from the pulp. Seeds should not be allowed to dry out.

Germination: Seeds require 60 days moist cold treatment or can be planted in the fall.

Vegetative propagation: Small corms can be separated from the main corm in the fall and transplanted.

Soils: Humus-rich soils

Light: Shade to full sun.

Water: Moist to wet soils.

Notes: Moist shaded areas produce the best growth.

Araliaceae : Arisaema triphyllum