Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You Don't See These Every Day

Jack-in-the-Pulpits—one of our wonderful native wildflowers. I've established approximately twenty of them in my shaded perennial garden.

G A R D E N I N G — I've always been fond of wildflowers, it was the way I was raised, lol. I grew up walking around the woods in Connecticut, with my Mom and aunt Hoohoo pointing out and identifying various indigenous wildflowers and plants. The woods around our homes were full of Columbine, Gentian, various ferns, Lady Slippers, Dutchman's Britches, Trout lilies etc. The one species that seemed 'rare' in our neck of the woods were Jack-in-the-Pulpits. We had a small area in Mulberry Point where there were a few, but they were always a very special sighting, and my mother never dared to try to establish them in our yard.

Fast forward to the present day, and the property around the house my apartment is in, is LOADED with Jacks. You can't go 2 feet in the shady, woodsy areas of the property without finding clumps of them. It's really incredible, there must be thousands. It's the first time I've realized there are at least two varieties also-the dark-striped variety I've posted photos of here, and a lighter pale green variety, which aren't blooming yet. I've successfully transplanted around 20 of them into my gardens where I can enjoy them and show them to friends. I think they're spectacular! Oddly enough, Jacks are just about the ONLY wildflowers I've found on this property. My mom would be so thrilled to see them!

In the fall, Jacks develop a seed pod, that looks for all the world like a small cluster of bright red grapes, adding a much-needed pop of color in the generally brown fall flower beds.

For more info on Jack-in-the-Pulpits, go here .

A great print from 1886 by Isaac Sprague showing the corm and the seed pod that develops by autumn.

Georgia O'Keefe immortalized Jacks in this ca 1930 painting. Photo found through Google Images.


  1. Nice post - followed your link on JMG.

    But, but, you have an aunt called HooHoo???

  2. Hi David,
    Thanks for stopping by! Yes, i had an aunt I called HooHoo. She died in 1982 though, and is responsible for my being an artist today. You can read more about her in my post titled, "Mr DeMille I'm ready for my close-up":


    It's towards the bottom of the 'April' listings if the link doesn't work.

    hope you stop by again. I try to put up a new entry once or twice a day. Haven't had a chance today yet. I found a couple of mice in the trunk of my car today and i'm still freaking out about it. I have to sell it now.