Jack-in-the Pulpit is a herbaceous perennial in the arum family, Araceae, that also includes skunk cabbage, calla lily, and elephant ear.  It is native to eastern North America where is grows in moist woodlands and thickets.  Plants have a trumpet shaped leaf-like structure called a spath surrounding a spadix consisting of a narrow upright structure bearing tiny male and female flowers. In summer, the spathe falls off and the cross pollinated female flowers develop bright shiny red berries that are eaten by birds. The curious flowers make this a plant especially appealing to young children and add interest to any woodland or shade garden.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Green or purple/brown spathe and spadix flower in spring to early summer.

Size: 6-24” H.

Light: Dappled sunlight to light shade.

Soil: Humus rich, moist, slightly acidic soil.

Hardiness: Zones 3-9.

Care: Low maintenance.

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to rust, leaf blight, anthracnose, weevils, slugs, and snails.

Propagation: Seed (should be stratified and may take up to 2 years to germinate); offshoots in fall.

Companion plants: False Solomon’s seal, turtleheads, trillium, and ferns.

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By Karen