Arisaema heterophyllum - a stately giant Jack-In-The-Pulpit

Arisaema heterophyllum     copyright  2002 Mark McDonough Arisaema heterophyllum     copyright  2002 Mark McDonough

Photos by Mark McDonough
taken late June, 2002

This impressive Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema heterophyllum, is from eastern Asia. It is rated
hardy to USDA Zone 5-9.  The plant is very late to appear in spring; it didn't emerge from the
ground this year (2002) until June 12th.  The emerging shoots themselves very impressive,
 looking like improbable vegetative spears wrapped in a lightly mottled snake-skin sheath, 
familiar among Arisaema species. Rocketing out of the ground, it was in bloom only
2 weeks later, with the tip of the spathe measuring just over 5' (150 cm) tall! 

Notice in the left-hand photograph, how the lower leaf stalk has a slightly different
appearance than the taller, more developed leaf on the flowering shoot.  The lower
leaf has fewer leaflets, darker green leaves that are crinkled along the leaf margins.
The more developed leaf on the flowering stem has 22 leaflets, suspended from
a handle-bar-like leaf "rim" encircling and guarding the taller flower stem. The
species name "heterophyllum" alludes to the fact the plant has leaves of
varying form on the same plant.  

The tubers are planted at the shaded base of a Rhododendron. The unsupported stem
is stiff and strong, undaunted by several days of high winds and thunderstorms. 

This species and many more species, most of which are new or rare in cultivation, are
available from Barry Yinger's ground-breaking nursery Asiatica,
It is written about this species the plant is called "dancing crane" in Japanese, an apropos
fanciful name I think. The spadix is described as yellow, and said to arch up and descend.
In this specimen, the spadix is white at the base and is green with dull purplish coloration
in the protruding portion, and only ascends.  Check the detailed view of the flowers and
leaves by following the link below.

[ 2 detail views of Arisaema heterophyllum ]

[ 2001 Gallery of Ariseama - 16 photos ]
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This page was last updated on 07/14/02