Swamp or Small Jack-in-the-pulpit - Arisaema triphyllum (Arum family - Araceae)

 

Swamp or Small Jack-in-the-pulpit - Arisaema triphyllum (Arum family - Araceae) Usually smaller than the common Jack-in-the-pulpit, which can be 1 - 3 feet in height. This has a single 3-part leaf, sometimes with a black spath This flaplike spathe forms the "pulpit" and curves over to provide a canopy for the spadix, the "Jack." Its inconspicuous flowers are at the base of the spadix.

 

 

In late summer these flowers are replaced by a clump of red berries. They were once gathered, boiled and eaten by Native Americans. They also used the ground-up corm as a pepper substitute, a practice adopted by white settlers. The peppery quality is due to calcium oxalate crystals, which cause a burning sensation in the mouth; hence, another common name, Indian Turnip.

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