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This Month in the Newton Conservators Almanac

May 2013

Photo by Sue J. Avery

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT, Arisaema triphyllum

Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a spectacular plant common in moist woods. It grows one to three feet high. The flower consists of a green- and purple-striped canopy over a spathe or "Jack," pollinated by fungus gnats to produce a bunch of bright red berries in fall. Also known as Indian turnip, Native Americans used the root as a vegetable, which is edible when dried and cooked. Leaves and fruit contain calcium oxalate that can irritate and blister the skin.

More information:

US Department of Agriculture


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Connecticut Botanical Society


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