ARISAEMA (Jack in the Pulpit, Dragon Root, Indian Turnip, Bog Onion) Araceae A. species
HABITAT: Native to Far East, North America. Zones 4, 8.
USES: Greenhouses, pots, wild garden..
HABIT: Tuberous, red plants with shiny, 3-parted, arum, lily-like leaves, 1-3' long, surrounding a green and brown striped, spathe-type flower with a club-like spadix nearly hidden inside. The spring flowers are followed in the fall with red or orange berries.
SEED GERMINATION AND CULTURE: Sow fresh seed in the fall outdoors in woodsy, moist soil, covering lightly and keeping moist during the germination period. Seeds may also be sown in the greenhouse or indoors in pots of humus enriched soil mix or moistened peat moss. Cover lightly and maintain 70°F temperatures and constant moisture during the germination period.
Sow or set out in a deep, rich, humus soil in partial shade. They must never dry out during the growing period, so keep moist. If they become dry, they will refuse to flower, will wither, and disappear during the summer.
Grow tender species in the greenhouse with minimum temperatures of 50° nights. Pot in equal parts of loam and leaf mold with some coarse sand added. Pot in early spring or re-pot old plants just when fresh growth begins in the spring. Keep moist from April to October and gradually withhold moisture; keep somewhat dry from October to March. Feed every month with a fish emulsion or balanced garden fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
SPECIES: A. concinnum: 12". White flower spathe, June. Zone 8.
A. draconitum (Green Dragon, Dragon Root): To 4'. Handsome, large leaves and greenish spathes. Withstands slightly drier soil. Flowers somewhat bayonet-like. Orange berries. Shade. Zone 4.
A. pulsillum (Swamp Jack): Very wet, acid sites. Zone 4.
A. speciosum: 18". White spathe, March. Zone 8.
A. triphylluym (Jack-in-the-Pulpit): 12-18". Zone 4. Purple-green spathe, June. Red berries. East and mid western USA. Rich, moist soil.
INSECTS: Not generally a problem.
DISEASES: Blight: Spray with an approved fungicide such as Maneb or Zineb.
Leaf Spot: Spray with Bordeaux Mixture, Captan, or Fermate.
Rust: Destroy host plants, especially weeds which show rust. Destroy infected plants; spray every 7-10 days with Ferbam or Maneb. Indoors: raise temperatures, reduce air humidity, and keep water off foliage.
PROPAGATION: Division, seeds.
REMARKS: To make Jack "speak", gently rub the bottom of the spathe between your fingers and squeaky noises will entertain your children.