Arisaema triphyllum, Jack-In-The-Pulpit

Arisaema triphyllum triphyllum
photos by Dennis Kalma

Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott
Araceae (arums)

Plant: 15-90 cm tall; flowering spring to early summer

Flower: On peduncle arising between leaves. Bract-like spathe wraps around itself at base forming a greenish, often striped with purple, tube; upper portion of the spathe curves forward and forms a hood over the spadix; outside of the hood purple or green with yellowish stripes along the veins; inside of hood purple with yellowish stripes along the veins; the hood is slightly ridged along the veins. Cylindrical male or female flower (the spadix) is reddish-purple and rod-like with a blunt end. During the summer the spathe disintegrates exposing the spadix with its green, then red, berries.

Leaves: basal, usually 2; petiole reddish-purple; blade divided into 3 leaflets, each up to 30 cm long; undersides of mature leaves whitish; lateral leaflets assymetrical with proximal (nearest the base) side having a rounded edge and the distal side having a straighter edge.

Habitat: moist deciduous woodlands, floodplains, swamps

Similar Species: Jack-in-the-Pulpit is very variable but distinctive. Older works may divide Arisaema triphyllum into subspecies but these seem to overlap geographically and morphologically and it is probably more reasonable to regard it as a single variable species.

Arisaema triphylllum
early spring
  Arisaema triphyllum distribution
Flora of North America
  Arisaema triphyllum
Arisaema triphylllum   Arisaema triphyllum   Arisaema triphyllum