Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Pool-Side Plants for Miami
April 02, 2015 - I am looking for plants, along the line of ti plant cordyline features, to plant around my chlorinated pool area with full South Miami sun. We have a dog therefore they must be non-toxic plants. The...
view the full question and answer

Is Desert willow poisonous to horses in Boerne TX
July 17, 2009 - I have just purchased Bubba Desert Willows and have horses. Will they eat them, do you know and if so will they be harmed? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow plants non-toxic to horses
April 07, 2012 - What would be a good, fast growing, hedgerow plant that is NON-POISONOUS TO HORSES? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

What caused bump after walk in woods from Ontario
July 25, 2011 - I recently went for a walk in the woods near a stream. When I got to the river my leg had a little bump. It wasn't itching. I got home, it swelled even bigger. Can you tell me what plant I bumped int...
view the full question and answer

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