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Posts Tagged ‘Arisaema triphyllum’

Jack-in-the-pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit

If you’ve walked in the woods in eastern North America, you may have come across Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), a common and easily identified understory plant. It’s native to rich forests from Canada to the Gulf states. But this common plant has some not so common adaptations for reproduction.

Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers

Jack-in-the-pulpit blooms in April or May with an unusual flowering structure that gives it its name. The visible parts of the flowering structure are the club-like spadix (“Jack”) that rises within and above the edge of a leaf-like spathe (“the pulpit”). The upper part of the spathe curves forward and downward, acting as an umbrella to prevent water from flooding the 30 to 60 tiny flowers that are hidden at the base of the spadix. Individual plants have either male or female flowers—botanists call this dioecy.

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