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Jack In The Pulpit

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 The Many Attributes Of Using Jack In The Pulpit Perennials In Landscaping

 

Jack in the Pulpit- Arisaema triphyllum

Jack in the Pulpit is a woodland plant that usually does well in full or partial shade. It takes its name because many people believe that the plant looks like a person standing behind a podium. This plant has a green and brown striped hood covering a deep cylinder spadix that is usually called the jack. The jack will be covered in many small green and yellow flowers in the spring.

As the flowers fade away, the female flowers give way to small red berries that many small animals consume in the autumn. Male Jack in the Pulpit plants has a tiny hole in the bottom of the spathe making it easier for the pollen to get away. These plants can change sex from one growing season to the next depending on conditions. Usually, Jack in the Pulpit plants is male for the first two years before switching to being female if enough nutrients are present in the soil. These perennial plants do best in soil that is rich in organic matter. When nutrients are lacking, they will remain male requiring pollinators to carry pollen in from other areas. They also prefer to be covered with a thick coat of dried leaves before it gets cold in the winter.

Jack in the Pulpit plants often reach about 12 inches high with some reaching 18 inches in the best growing conditions.. Male Jacks in the Pulpit usually have one long thin leaf while female Jack in the Pulpits usually has two leaves. A few species have three leaves with the third leave being a diamond shape. Each trifoliate foliage is about 1.5 inches wide, and it can be from three-to-six- inches long. The berries have one to five seeds that ripen in the fall.

These plants love to be wet, so make sure to plant them in moist areas or water them throughout the growing season. Using a good ground low ground cover near Jack in the Pulpits often allows the ground to stay wet.

Since these plants look very unusual, many homeowners love using them as showcase flowers in native or woodland gardens. Their unique shape draws looks in the spring and early summer while their berries serve as food for small animals during the first days of autumn.

 

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