Wildflowers of Toronto's High Park​​

Jack-in-the-pulpit   ​Arisaema triphyllum

​Family: Arum
Native to Ontario 

Blooms: May to July
Habitat: Moist woodlands 

​Height: 40 cm

​Tiny flowers are clustered on a dense spike (called a spadix) 5-75 cm long.  This is enclosed in a large bract (called a spathe) 20-25 cm wide, which may be green or streaked/mottled with purple or brown.

The common name refers to the appearance of a preacher in an old-fashioned pulpit. 

​The species name refers to the 3-part leaves.

​The sex of the flowers varies according to the age/size of the plant - the smallest being sterile, then male, then a mix of male and female with the males higher on the spadix, and the largest plants being all female.

​Insects that enter the spathe to collect pollen at the base of the spadix cannot climb back up, but must escape through a small flap where the two sides of the spathe meet. Some get trapped and die.