Identified

Last week I posted a picture of this plant:

cheerleading plant

and asked if anyone knew what it was. My coworkers came through! Two emailed me to tell me that it is a jack-in-the-pulpit (or arisaema triphyllum) and that I shouldn’t eat it. Don’t worry! I won’t eat berries from the wild unless I’m 1000% sure I know what they are.

I did some reading on them because they are so cool looking. Wikipedia (link) has a decent article, and I also liked the info in the Plants for a Future (link) database. Both of those imply that the root is edible IF you neutralize the oxalic acid by drying it for several months before eating it. The Plants for a Future website also lists several ways the plant was used medicinally by Native Americans. (Note: I’m still not going to eat it!) I am looking forward to watching the plants flower next spring – the flowers are as weird looking (link) as the seed stalks.

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