Arisaema triphyllum . . JACK IN THE PULPIT
JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT, INDIAN TURNIP
TOXICITY RATING: Low.
ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may be affected.
DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: Bulbs, stems, possibly leaves.
CLASS OF SIGNS: Oral and gastric irritation, mouth and throat swelling on rare occasions may besevere enough to affect breathing.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: These herbaceous perennials (fig. 19) pop up in spring in Indiana woodlands. They grow 1 to 2 feet tall from a tuberous root. The large leaves are three-parted, smooth-margined, and net-veined. Each plant produces one bloom beneath the leaves on a short stalk. The "jack" is a fleshy green spike ("spadix") bearing a number of inconspicuous male and female flowers. The most noticeable part of the bloom is the "pulpit", a modified leaf ("spathe") that wraps around and hides the spadix. It may be all green or striped with red or reddish-violet. In late summer the spathe falls away, revealing a cluster of bright red berries.
SIGNS and FIRST AID: See the section for the Aroid discussion. Rarely is enough of this plant consumed to cause a problem, but the potential exists, especially in spring when other forages are not readily available and if the livestock have access to a wooded area. Signs are self-limiting, and a veterinarian only needs to be contacted if signs do not resolve or if breathing is affected.
PREVENTION: Jack-in-the-Pulpit grows in wooded, shaded areas in the spring, so limit animal access to these areas when plants begin to emerge.
8 to 32 in. . . Lt. to full shade . . Rich, moist soil . . Native . . Familiar woodlander. Colorful spathe is striped with purple and/or white. Cluster of shiny red berries from late summer into fall. . . A well known (34 common names are listed in one reference) plant that is almost required in any woodland garden. . . Several medicinal uses are given for the plant, although many sources consider it toxic. #1251 . .
Zones 4 to 8
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