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Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott.

Figure 69.—Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Synonym.Arum triphyllum L.

Other common names.—Wild turnip, arum, three-leaved arum, Indian-turnip, wakerobin, wild pepper, dragon-turnip, brown dragon, devil's-ear, marsh turnip, swamp turnip, meadow turnip, pepper turnip, starchwort, bog onion, priest's-pintle, lords-and-ladies.

Habitat and range.—Jack-in-the-pulpit inhabits moist woods from Canada to Florida and westward to Kansas and Minnesota.

Description.—The jack-in-the-pulpit has one or two smooth leaves consisting of three leaflets from 3 to 6 inches long and from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches wide. The flower, which is either all green or green with dark purple stripes, is readily recognized on account of the similarity of its form to that of the calla lily. In autumn the fruit ripens in the form of a bunch of bright, scarlet, shining berries. The underground portion, usually referred to as the root but botanically known as a corm, is shaped like a turnip. The lower part is flat and wrinkled, while the upper part is surrounded by coarse wavy rootless. It has an extremely burning taste.

Part used.—The dried corm, collected in the summer, is sliced crosswise and dried. Drying and heat diminish its burning taste, which disappears rapidly with age.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 19, 1998 by aw