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- EssaysEric Dinerstein Bill Young
Swamp Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Indian Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bog Onion, Brown Dragon, Indian Turnip, American Wake Robin, Wild Turnip, Indian Turnip
Jack-in-the-pulpit is native to the eastern half of North America. It is in the arum family (Araceae), as is Skunk Cabbage. Jack-in-the-pulpit sometimes becomes "Jill-in-the-pulpit". Most species of plants are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female parts, but some plants have separate sexes. The Jack-in-the-pulpit can change sexes from year-to-year, depending on its reproductive success the previous year. The male tends to be smaller than the female. A few songbirds, including the Wood Thrush, will eat Jack-in-the-pulpit berries, but it is not an important food source for most species at Monticello. It contains oxalic acid, which is poisonous if ingested raw by humans, and most mammals stay away from it. It is pollinated by fungus gnats and the larvae of parasitic thrips.
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