Arisaema tortuosum, Arum tortuosum, Whipcord Cobra Lily, Jack in the pulpit

Arisaema tortuosum, Arum tortuosum

Whipcord Cobra Lily, Jack in the pulpit
Family: Araceae
Origin: E. Asia
USDA Zone: 7-9?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeModerate waterRegular waterUnusual colorEdible plantDeciduous plantIrritating plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Arisaemas resemble carnivorous plants, but in fact they attract flies and other insects as pollinators, not food. Their leaves are divided into three or more leaflets. Their fascinating "flower" a pulpit-like hooded spathe enclosing a fleshy, erect spadix usually rises in spring. Scarlet berries by late summer or autumn enclose seeds that are scattered by birds and other creatures.

They prefer a rich but well drained neutral to acid soil that does not dry out in the growing season.

The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water. Tuber - it must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten. The roots are buried in masses in pits until acetous fermentation takes place, they are then dug up, washed and cooked, by which means their acrimonious principles are in part dispersed.

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