Arisaema triphyllum
jack in the pulpit, Indian turnip

Arisaema triphyllum
Arisaema triphyllum
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott
Common name: Jack in the pulpit, Indian turnip
Group: monocot
Family: Araceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: 1 -3'
Foliage: 1 or 2 leaves, long stalked, 3 parted
Flower: tiny, within a "pulpit" (spathe) which is 3-4" in height
Flowering time: late April to mid-May; fruits late July to August
Habitat: moist to wet, shaded soils of woods and edges, swamps and bogs, slopes
Range in New Jersey: statewide, outside the Pine Barrens
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. Stone,  in 1910, says of this plant, "The familiar Jack-in-the-Pulpt is one of those plants that disappears as soon as we enter the Pine Barrens. In northern and western Jersey we find it in damp woods associated with the Skunk Cabbage, Dog-toothed Violet, Spring Beauty and May Apple, but in the swamps of the Pine region not one of the group is to be found."(314)
The corm is edible after extensive drying or baking; the calcium oxalate crystals present in the plant prohibit it from being eaten raw. Native American peoples used A. triphyllum medicinally for sore eyes, rheumatism, bronchitis, colds, and various skin infections. Use of this plant internally can be deadly.