Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, American wake robin, or wild turnip) is an herbaceous perennial plant growing from a corm. with three-parted leaves and flowers contained in a spadix that is covered by a hood. It is native to eastern North America.
Plants are sometimes confused with Poison-ivy especially before the flowers appear or non-flowering plants. The spathe, known in this plant as "the pulpit" wraps around and covers over and contain a spadix ("Jack"), covered with tiny flowers of both sexes.
The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, and consumption of the raw plant material results in a powerful burning sensation. It can cause irritation of the mouth and digestive system, and on rare occasions the swelling of the mouth and throat may be severe enough to affect breathing.
If the plant is properly dried or cooked it can be eaten as a root vegetable.
A preparation of the root was reported to have been used by Native Americans as a treatment for sore eyes. Preparations were also made to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, and snakebites, as well as to induce sterility.
May 25th, 2017
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