I like this photo because it shows the Jack's very distinctive red seed pod and the almost ghost-like beige remnants of the three leaves and stem of the immature plant lying next to it. Long-time readers of this blog, well long-time as in last April, lol, will remember the Jack-in-the-Pulpits in their spring guise. I'm finding it hard to believe the growing season is winding down. Sigh.
This is a great photo showing the seed pod as it first appears, a bright apple green, right next to its last stage in bright red. The leaves on the plant with the green seed pod have grown taller allowing the 'pulpit' to get the sunlight it needs to create the seed pod. As the plant matures, the leaves wither and the stem weakens. The seed pod begins to turn red, as seen below, and by the time the stem can no longer support the maturing seed pod, it's bright red and lays on the ground allowing the seeds to form new plants. The existing plant will always come up whether or not any new seeds are buried and germinate however. I've had all of these plants come up for several years now. Note, the cluster of small green leaves at the base of the red pod are not attached to the Jack, and actually belong to a different plant, a young Ajuga I'd say.
Another good photo of this stage in the Jack's life. The leaves have withered away from the stem, and the seed pod is turning from bright green to bright red and will soon fall over. I really love these indigenous wild flowers. The woods around Pink Gardens are FULL of them. I'd say thousands. I've never seen anything like it. They're actually a protected species of wildflower in Connecticut, and I'm quite protective of them myself!