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Arisaema

Arisaema triphyllum - Jack-in-the-pulpit

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Jack-in-the-bulbit is originated from the eastern parts of North America. The name comes from the shape of the flower which you can notice if you check it closely. The spathe represents "the pulpit" which wraps around the a spadix containing tiny flowers ("Jack"). The long spathe is typical for only few species of the genus Arisaema.

Arisaemas are tuberous plants. They emerge fast and flower before or simultaneously as the leaves come out. As juvenile it makes only male flowers but if the growing conditions are optimal the following year it can start to produce female flowers. Then in the autumn the plant will be decorated with bright red seeds in the spadix that can be seen from the distance in the autumnal garden. The seeds are best to be left untouched since the crystalline poison in them penetrates through skin and causes burning sensation and swelling.

Jack-in-the-pulpit thrives best in the semi-shade humus-rich moist soil but it does not tolerate to be waterlogged in winter. Cultivation of several Arisaemas should encouraged in Finland using their optimal growing conditions since they are the elite of the woodland perennials.

 

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