Herbs, terrestrial or wetland. Corms [rhizomes] nearly globose. Leaves usually appearing with flowers, 1--2(--3), erect; petiole longer than blade; blade medium to dark green, sometimes glaucous adaxially, palmately or pedately [radiately] divided, not peltate, leaflet elliptic to broadly ovate or oblanceolate, base rounded to obtuse or attenuate, apex obtuse or acute to acuminate; primary lateral veins of each leaflet pinnate. Inflorescences: peduncle erect, nearly equal to leaves [to very short], apex not swollen; spathe variously colored or striped, distal part open at maturity, exposing tip to 1/2 or more of spadix appendage; spadix ± cylindric, surmounted by sterile appendage of variable shape. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on same or different spadix; pistillate flowers congested; staminate flowers usually scattered, distal to pistillate flowers when both are present; perianth absent. Fruits not embedded in spadix, glossy orange to bright red. Seeds 1--6, mucilage sometimes present (not present in Arisaema triphyllum). x = 13, 14.
Herbs with tuber or rhizome, paradioecious (sex depending on nutrition and therefore variable from one year to another). Tuber usually renewed seasonally and producing some tubercles around, these separated from old tuber at end of growth season. Rhizome usually cylindric, with many nodes, not renewed every year, usually preceding evergreen or wintergreen leaves. Roots usually growing at apex of tuber around cataphylls or at new nodes of rhizome. Cataphylls 3-5, herbaceous or membranous, surrounding basal part of shoot. Pseudostem consisting of basal cylindric part of petiole present or absent. Leaves 1-3, long petiolate; petiole usually mottled, stout, smooth or verrucose; leaf blade 3-foliolate, palmate, pedate, or radiate. Inflorescence borne with or before leaves, solitary, pedunculate, emerging from pseudostem in tuberous or some rhizomatous plants or separately from petiole and directly surrounded by cataphylls in some rhizomatous plants; peduncle (excluding part within pseudostem) erect, stout, usually shorter than or sometimes equaling or longer than petioles (excluding part forming pseudostem). Spathe tubular proximally, expanded limb distally, deciduous, withering or rarely semipersistent; throat of spathe tube often widely spreading outward, with or without an auricle on each side, margins of throat ciliate or not; spathe limb occasionally with a long tail at apex. Spadix sessile, unisexual or bisexual; bisexual spadix female proximally, male distally, neuter (sterile) flowers sometimes present on appendix; appendix variable in shape, base stipitate or not, apex sometimes ending in long filiform flagellum. Ovaries with 1 basal locule with several orthotropous ovules; style usually indistinct; stigma peltate, papillose. Synandria of 2-6 fused stamens, sessile or on a united filament; anthers dehiscing by 2 apical pores or a single horseshoe-shaped slit or circumscissile into a ring. Neuter flowers filiform, subulate. Infructescence upright or nodding. Berries reddish, several seeded.
"Monoecious or dioecious; fls covering the basal part of a fleshy spadix that is subtended by a green or purple-brown spathe; perianth none; staminate fls above the pistillate, composed of 2–5 subsessile anthers opening apically; pistillate fls consisting of a unilocular ovary with 1–several basal orthotropous ovules and a broad stigma; fr a cluster of globose red berries, each with 1–3 seeds; cormose perennials with long-petioled compound lvs. 150, irregularly cosmop."
Spadix unisexual (paradioecious) or monoecious with basal pistillate part contiguous with central staminate part, always with terminal, sterile, smooth appendix of variable shape from clavate to filamentous, usually subcylindric in African species
Spathe convolute basally into a ± cylindric tube, upper part (limb) expanded, forward-curving or ± erect, acuminate, variously coloured or striped
Inflorescence erect, terminal, solitary, appearing with leaves
Leaves radical, 1–3, subtended by several cataphylls; petioles not pulvinate apically; sheaths long, often imbricate to form a pseudostem; blade compound, pedately to radiately divided to base into elliptic to obovate acuminate lobes; primary lateral veins of lobes usually forming inframarginal veins, finer venation reticulate
Erect, seasonally dormant herbs with subglobose tubers (rarely rhizomatous in some Asian species)
Seeds subglobose; endosperm copious; embryo axile.
Berries fleshy, glossy orange to scarlet, few-seeded, borne in cylindric to conic infructescence
Pistillate flowers congested; ovary unilocular; ovules 1–9; placentation basal; stigma sessile or on short conic style, capitate
Staminate flowers ± distant, each with 2–5 stamens; filaments connate; anthers free to connate, dehiscing by pores or straight to lunate slits; connective slender
Huttleston, D. G. 1953. A Taxonomic Study of the Temperate North American Araceae. Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell University. Murata, J. 1990. Present status of Arisaema systematics. Bot. Mag. 103: 371--382. Treiber, M. 1980. Biosystematics of the Arisaema triphyllum Complex. Ph.D. dissertation. University of North Carolina.
|Jack-in-the-pulpit [Greek aris, plant name used by Pliny, and haima, blood, in reference to the red-spotted leaves of some species]|