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Jack-in-the-Pulpit

   
Jack-in-the-Pulpit or Indian Turnip
Arisaema triphyllum
   

Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a shy plant, and can rarely be found anywhwere near cities, or on any cultivated land. The plant begins as an unusual formation, a sort of green vase, a spathe, made from a single leaf, with a stalk growing up the middle of it, and a leaf-hood folding gracefully over its top. Eventually, the stalk in the middle grows berries which turn a brilliant red, and the rest of the plant dies away, leaving only the berry-covered stalk, or "spadix," shown here. The plant's second common name, "Indian Turnip," comes from the fact that its root is edible, although it has an unpleasantly peppery taste unless cooked.



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