Common Names: Jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, American wake robin, wild turnip
Sub-category: Arum family
A herbaceous perennial plant growing from a corm. It is a highly variable species typically growing 30 to 65 cm in height with three-parted leaves and flowers contained in a spadix that is covered by a hood. The fruit are smooth, shiny green, 1 cm wide berries clustered on the thickened spadix. The fruits ripen in late summer and fall, turning a bright red color before the plants go dormant.
Occurs in moist woodlands, often near streams and swamps. Flowers from April to June.
Edible Notes: If the plant is properly dried or cooked it can be eaten as a root vegetable. However due to the presence of oxalic acid, this one is not recommended.
Warnings: The oxalic acid in jack-in-the-pulpit is poisonous if ingested. Consumption of the raw plant material results in a powerful burning sensation. It can cause irritation of the mouth and digestive system, and on rare occasions the swelling of the mouth and throat may be severe enough to affect breathing. Care should also be taken to avoid confusion with poison ivy, which has three leaflets somewhat similar in appearance.