Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 13, 2009

From: Lakewood, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Precautions to take with Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are there precautions to take, such as wearing gloves while separating the seeds from the Jack In The Pulpit berries. The photos I have seen have gloved hands. I've read that the plant is toxic if ingested.

ANSWER:

According to the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina all parts of Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit) can cause severe pain and blisters if put in the mouth when raw.  However, the roots can be collected, dried, roasted and ground and added to bread and muffin batters and safely eaten.  According to the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System oxalates, the chemicals responsible for the burning and blisters, does not cause systemic poisoning since they are insoluble.  Even though you would probably be just fine if you can remember not to put your hands in your mouth, eyes or nose before you wash them thoroughly, it would probably be a good idea to wear rubber gloves while handling the seeds or other parts of the plant.

 


Arisaema triphyllum

Arisaema triphyllum

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Recommended plants for horse farm in Lansford PA
April 22, 2010 - Recently started a small horse farm in northeast Pennsylvania just east of the Pocono Mountain plateau. Located in a foggy valley adjacent to a lake. Snowy, cold winters; wet springs; dry summers; ni...
view the full question and answer

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
view the full question and answer

Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016 - Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
view the full question and answer

Is Savannah Holly poisonous to burn in Hanahan, SC.?
August 20, 2011 - Can you please tell me if the wood from a savannah holly bush is poisonous to burn?
view the full question and answer

Removing Mountain Laurel Seed Pods from Austin
August 14, 2012 - Is it best to remove seed pods from Mt. Laurel or leave them on the tree?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.