Monday, June 09, 2008

Heads or Tails: Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Arisaema triphyllum

We saw jack-in-the-pulpit flowers during our Wild Edibles walk, but this photo is from a walk I took on my road a couple of weeks ago. "Jack" is the spadix ("a floral spike with a fleshy or succulent axis usually enclosed in a spathe" according to Merriam-Webster. What's a spathe?) inside the tube that you see here. In the fall, this plant produces brilliant red berries that I photographed last year. The dried root of this plant has been used by Native Americans for colds, coughs, and to build blood. It was also used as a poultice for rheumatism, sores, snakebite, boils, abscesses and ringworm. Root tea was used as an expectorant, diaphoretic, asthma, colds, cough, laryngitis, headaches and as a purgative. This plant is extremely irritating. I would never try any of these remedies without expert advice.

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14 comments:

  1. Thank you for that explanation! I do not think I would try any of these remedies on my own either.

    Great pic!

    Happy HOT day! My entry is here:

    My Life In The Urban Zoo

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  2. Very interesting flower with very interesting info! I love your cats too! The Wildwood Flower at my place!

    Happy HoTs!
    Mere

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  3. Ya know...I've never seen one of these 'til I started doing research for our H O T prompt this week, you'll see what I mean if you come by....they're kinda evil looking.


    My H o T is shared now, hope you can stop by. I'm hoping it's unique this week. :o)

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  4. Fascinating post, as always! And I see YOU have a Flower in your kitty family....Pansy! What a sweetie! :)

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  5. I clicked the link to see the berries. How pretty! :)

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  6. pretty! pretty!

    you can see my flowers here!

    thanks!

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  7. This brought memories of collecting wildflowers when I was in junior high school. There are so many unusual wildflowers. Beautiful!

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  8. I actually just learned about this plant about a month ago, but I didn't know that it would produce the red berries. Interesting!

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  9. Just the name alone is fun and fun to say! The berries are so very, very red, too. Nice take on the theme.

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  10. Interesting post. I've always had a fascination for natural medicine, although I've always been very cautious, as some plants can be very dangerous. Happy Tuesday!

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  11. So, it's either really good or really bad? Pretty, though.

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  12. I’ve read of this flower in many a book but never seen the real thing … so thanks for sharing the photo and the information. I love learning new things this way. I participated at Small Reflections this morning and just returned home from my Photoshop class (and running errands) … so I’m visiting at last.
    Hugs and blessings,

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  13. I've never heard of this before so have learned a lot from your post.

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