jacks up close

All Green Jacks-in-the-Pulpit So Far

I love finding jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) in our woods. It’s amazing how well-camoflauged they are.

Here’s Beezus out ahead of me on the trail, looking for jacks. Well, she’s probably looking for snakes and chipmunks, but I’m looking for jacks. (The purple flowers on the right are larkspur; we’ve had a bumper crop of those this year.)

Beezy in the woods
Beezy in the woods

dappled jack-in-the-pulpit
dappled jack-in-the-pulpit

The green jacks are lovely, but I especially like to see the purple-striped ones, which seem to be few; some years I don’t see a purple one at all. All the jacks are here only for a two to three-week period, then you have to wait until the next year.

two tall jacks in the pulpit
two tall jacks in the pulpit

So far this year we’ve seen a lot of green jacks, but no purples. Yet. So here’s a purple-striped jack in the pulpit from a previous year (so tiny!):

purple-striped jack in the pulpit
purple-striped jack in the pulpit, 2018

Jacks are long-lived (up to 25 years), but each corm takes about 5 years to flower, or grow the customary spathe and spadix. They have the weirdest corm I’ve ever seen; it looks something like a peanut-butter kiss cookie, if it were made by woodland elves.

jack in the pulpit bulb or corm
jack in the pulpit corm (Rocky in the background)

I plan to keep looking; may still find a purple jack this year!

2 comments on “All Green Jacks-in-the-Pulpit So Far

  1. Aren’t they cool! I only found one this year but I have not been able to really get into the woods. Hoping next spring with a new knee will change that! Your photos are very good, so clear.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe

      A new knee will help (eventually). And thanks for the praise on the photos; I work so hard at getting them clear. Parkinson’s makes my hands shake so I have to hold my breath and take a bunch in hopes of getting a few good ones, ha!

Leave a Reply