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Friday, May 21, 2010



Many of you from the Northeast U.S. will recognize this familiar, and yet exotic-looking plant. This is the Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaema triphyllym, a springtime favorite. It likes to grow in rich, moist woods. Lots of people share pictures of this, but I really like how the light was shining on the leaves yesterday (it's raining today).


I'm even happier to tell you that these are growing in my "kingdom." They are down near the creek in the cemetery, and I first found them last year. I'm hoping that this small patch spreads.

They have relatives around the world... many in Asia. The genus is often called Cobra Lilies. It gets it's common name from the resemblance of the flower to a preacher standing in an old-fashioned tall pulpit. That flower shape is called a spadix. Does it remind you of another plant? Take a closer look.


Isn't it beautiful! Yes, plants like the peace lily and Anthurium are related, all having a spadix. But don't forget another wild one, the Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. I've linked below to a post which talks about that very early plant.

See Quiet Backwater


Duxbury Ramblers said...

Love the Lily isn't it strange how we name plants (common names), Lords & Ladies - Arum maculatum is our native one but we do get the Skunk Cabbage. My favourite has to be the small cousin of your Jack-in-the-pulpit, Mouse Tail Plant - Arisarum proboscideum a native of Spain & Italy but it's escaping and naturalising here. I keep thinking I will introduce it to my garden.

RNSANE said...

This is such a beautiful plant. I've never seen it in person. Of course, I don't spend that much time hiking in the woods but I'll have to see if it's growing some where in the Botannical Gardens.

wiseacre said...

I came across one yesterday growing out of the top of a stone wall about 100 feet from the house. Go figure.

I think the only thing I'd be happier to find in my 'kingdom' would be a Lady Slipper. That would be a real Cinderella story.

Ann said...

I know I've seen this before but can't remember where it was. Just love the name of it.

Ratty said...

These are fascinating plants. I've been seeing them all over the forest where I go most days. I've been taking plenty of pictures. I've been looking for skunk cabbage too, but I still don't quite know what that one looks like.

betchai said...

i only see this plant and its beautiful blossom in our botanical garden, i always find it interesting and fascinating.

Sharkbytes said...

Carol- I don't know either your Lord's & Ladies or the Mouse Tail! They sound great. We do have the Green Dragon, though. Maybe I can find it sometime!

Carmen- It may not grow in the south. I'm actually not sure about that.

wiseacre- Yup, lots of Jacks where you are! But I would think you have the orchids too. Don't they grow in the Daks? We just saw some barely opening in the Finger Lakes.

Ann- They are quite common, so a sighting might not have seemed very memorable. Sometimes we discount the familiar when it is really beautiful!

Ratty- I'm glad you see a lot of them! I just added skunk cabbage to my photo pages, so you can see its various stages. The leaves are in full array now.

betchai- nice to see you! There is a western species too, but I've never seen that one.

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