Cultivating History

Scientific Name: Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schoot

Family: Araceae (Arum Family)

Common name: Jack-in-the-pulpit

Description: Erect, perennial herb 8-30 inches tall from a corm; flowers on a fleshy spadix, maleabove, female below; spathe (the pulpit) with a tube and a hood which arches over the spadix (Jack); flowers mature March-April.

Range and Habitat: Common and widespread in eastern North America; common throughout South Carolina in rich woods, low woods, and bogs.

In Porcher’s time… Jack-in-the-Pulpit was used as an expectorant and stimulant in diseases of the mucous membranes, particularly pertussis and asthma. The root of the plant was also ingested to relieve sore throat and ground into an ointment for skin diseases.

See the historical entry on this plant as it appears in Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests