Jack in the Pulpit
Like many of the other plants in the Crum, Jack in the Pulpit is edible, efficacious, and poisonous. After reading the descriptions of the acute pain caused by the needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals (raphides) present in Arisaema (as well as other plants, including rhubarb and skunk cabbage), using the plant for medicine or food seems less attractive.
Georgia O’Keeffe painted a series of  six Jack in the Pulpits which move from representative to very abstract. You can see numbers 2-6 at the National Gallery’s Georgia O’Keeffe page.
Arisaema triphyllum
“thus in the [O’Keeffe] jack-in-the-pulpits, abstraction becomes a metaphor of,
and an equivalent for,
Arisaema exposed!
cf. O’Keeffe’s
Samuel B. Palmer
Biology Dept.
Swarthmore College
Jack in the...
Monday, May 1, 2006