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Jack In The Pulpit - Arisaema triphyllum
Jack in the Pulpit is an herbaceous perennial plant also known as the Indian Turnip, Brown Dragon, bog onion, Wild Turnip and American Wake Robin. It gets its name from the shape of the blossoms which have a cuplike hooded top showing off a variety of colors from cream to green and burgundy to brown. The hood or the spathe showcases a spike or spadix that could be mistaken for a man standing in the pulpit is covered with tiny male and female flowers of a wide variety of colors: white, red, pink and green. It is framed by basal leaves in sets of three.
Jack in the Pulpit is native to the Midwest and grows hardily in zones 2-7. It thrives in soils that are damp and acidic. It also likes rich humus forest soils. This is an excellent plant for extremely boggy areas of your garden or lawn.
The Jack in the Pulpit reaches heights of 6 inches to 3 feet at full growth with a width of 6 to 12 inches. They grow well in partial shade and full shade. From mid to late summer Jack in the Pulpit will produce red berries in a clustered cone that takes the place of the spike. Eventually, the hood dies and the berries in their full rich glory are displayed.
The Jack in the Pulpit can be found growing wildly in rich moist woods growing from New Brunswick, Canada all the way to Florida. This plant is an exceptional addition to bog or rain gardens and its very tolerant of poorly drained soils. Grow them from the berries' seeds planted in the fall in 6 inches of slightly acidic soil with lots of organic matter. These make a good addition to shade gardens and outlines around the edges of woodlands.
As a plant, the Jack in the Pulpit is very easy to grow and care for. Blooms appear in mid to late spring covering the spadix and by the end of the summer the spadix disappears and the cluster of green, then ripe red berries appear, so for months your garden is decorated with color.
Jack In The Pulpit is a native wildflower to eastern and mid-western North America, however, is growing well in hardy zones 4-9. It grows best in partial shade and prefers medium to wet soil. It grows from anywhere to 1 to 3 feet and gets its name from its flower shape. The flower is a spathe shaped pouch that is covered by a hood. Each plant had one 2-3 light green with a hint of purple leaves that measure around 12 inches. It is a fuss-free plant that would look great in any wildflower garden.