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

Can oleander poison the ground below it?
June 29, 2013 - Can oleander poison the ground below it? Would it kill/damage grass or other plants below it? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Can foxglove poison be transmitted to the soil and taken up by another plant
May 29, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently I discovered a Foxglove that had come up after being planted 2 or 3 yrs ago. Next to it I have some medicinal Feverfew growing. (They were so close together I suspec...
view the full question and answer

Vines for fence, safe for horses in California
December 12, 2013 - I live in a fire prone part of Orange County, CA named Silverado and own horses. Am interested in fast growing vines to cover a fenced area which are horse safe. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Is Chilopsis linearis poisonous to dogs in Midland, TX?
June 04, 2011 - Is any variety of Chilopsis linearis (particularly bubba bubba) poisonous to animals? I'm thinking about using it as a source of shade for multiple dog kennels in west Texas.
view the full question and answer

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