Monday, June 09, 2008

Heads or Tails: Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Arisaema triphyllum

We saw jack-in-the-pulpit flowers during our Wild Edibles walk, but this photo is from a walk I took on my road a couple of weeks ago. "Jack" is the spadix ("a floral spike with a fleshy or succulent axis usually enclosed in a spathe" according to Merriam-Webster. What's a spathe?) inside the tube that you see here. In the fall, this plant produces brilliant red berries that I photographed last year. The dried root of this plant has been used by Native Americans for colds, coughs, and to build blood. It was also used as a poultice for rheumatism, sores, snakebite, boils, abscesses and ringworm. Root tea was used as an expectorant, diaphoretic, asthma, colds, cough, laryngitis, headaches and as a purgative. This plant is extremely irritating. I would never try any of these remedies without expert advice.

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  1. Thank you for that explanation! I do not think I would try any of these remedies on my own either.

    Great pic!

    Happy HOT day! My entry is here:

    My Life In The Urban Zoo

  2. Very interesting flower with very interesting info! I love your cats too! The Wildwood Flower at my place!

    Happy HoTs!

  3. Ya know...I've never seen one of these 'til I started doing research for our H O T prompt this week, you'll see what I mean if you come by....they're kinda evil looking.

    My H o T is shared now, hope you can stop by. I'm hoping it's unique this week. :o)

  4. Fascinating post, as always! And I see YOU have a Flower in your kitty family....Pansy! What a sweetie! :)

  5. I clicked the link to see the berries. How pretty! :)

  6. pretty! pretty!

    you can see my flowers here!


  7. This brought memories of collecting wildflowers when I was in junior high school. There are so many unusual wildflowers. Beautiful!

  8. I actually just learned about this plant about a month ago, but I didn't know that it would produce the red berries. Interesting!

  9. Just the name alone is fun and fun to say! The berries are so very, very red, too. Nice take on the theme.

  10. Interesting post. I've always had a fascination for natural medicine, although I've always been very cautious, as some plants can be very dangerous. Happy Tuesday!

  11. So, it's either really good or really bad? Pretty, though.

  12. I’ve read of this flower in many a book but never seen the real thing … so thanks for sharing the photo and the information. I love learning new things this way. I participated at Small Reflections this morning and just returned home from my Photoshop class (and running errands) … so I’m visiting at last.
    Hugs and blessings,

  13. I've never heard of this before so have learned a lot from your post.


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