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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