Indian Turnip

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Indian Turnip - Arisaema triphyllum

Indian Turnip, Jack-in-the-pulpit is a North American native plant. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with bright yellow spines that scatter red when broken or crushed. They have a hooded shape with three lobes at the top and are surrounded by long, narrow leaves. The flowers appear on stalks that attract many insects. The flower petals are spiky and curvy, with a bright yellow circle in the middle. When they first bloom, the flowers emit a strong smell of sewage or ammonia. Sometimes known as Indian turnip, the plant is a perennial woodland wildflower. Because of its flowering habit, it’s considered a short-lived perennial. The plant grows in zones three through eight. Watering the plant at least once daily will keep it from drying out, help them thrive, and allow you to enjoy its beauty all year.

1. Where To Grow Indian Turnip Plant

Indian Turnips grows best in the eastern half of the US, including all the Canadian provinces and the northeastern United States. They need full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Jack-in-the-pulpit plants do not like hot climates and will only survive a few weeks in areas where temperatures reach above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They require moist soil, so make sure you buy a root-based plant, and you can grow them in small pots. 

2. How to Grow Indian Turnip Plant

The plant requires rich, well-drained soil for its roots. They prefer moist soil but do not need to be watered daily. Begin watering your garden in the early spring when the ground begins to thaw. Jack-in-the-pulpit likes fertilized soil, but too much will cause the plant to grow too many leaves and not enough flowers. The plants’ roots are sensitive to sulfur so avoid using it in your garden. Cover the plants with a blanket, burlap, or fallen leaves or pine needles to protect them from drying out when temperatures drop. Use a seed starting mix that contains a good amount of peat and steep the seed so it will germinate. If you have purchased a readymade pot, the Jack-in-the-pulpit plants are sold in; you can start them off in those pots. Make certain you keep the soil moist during germination and the plants well watered. Once the plants grow well, you can transplant them into larger pots or your garden. 

 3. What to do with Indian Turnip Plant

The plant flowers for about two weeks in the summer and attracts many different species of bees. The flower produces a strong smell when it blooms, so make sure you water them properly to prevent fungus or rot that can occur on dead flowers. You can also use the fleshy rhizome of the plant as a meat substitute. Boil it first and then peel off the skin to remove any bitter taste that might be present. You can also consume the young leaves of Jack-in-the-pulpit to develop a strong appetite. The leaves can be used in salads, broths, soups, and stews. You can even make valuable herbal tea from it for your health.

Buy Indian Turnip online at Nance Plants.

4. How to propagate Indian Turnip plant

Propagate Jack-in-the-pulpit plants by dividing them in spring or after they have bloomed. The new plants can be lifted and moved directly into their final container. You can also propagate Jack-in-the-pulpit by putting the flower buds in a shallow water tray. The buds will start to grow roots in about a week. When the roots have grown about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, remove them from the water so they dry out. Plant them in the ground or in small pots.


1. How big do Jack in the pulpit get?

A. The typical height of Jack-in-the-pulpit ranges from 1 to 2 feet and have a width of 12-18 inches.

2. Are India Turnips native?

A. Yes, Indian Turnips are native to North America.

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  • 5
    Indian Turnip

    Posted by Indian Turnip on Mar 20, 2023

    Plants arrived in a timely manner and looked great.

  • 5
    Jack in the Pulpit

    Posted by Indian Turnip on Mar 09, 2023

    Indian turnip plants have distinctive green, glossy, three-lobed leaves that grow on a single stem. In the spring, they produce a spathe (the "pulpit") that surrounds a spadix (the "Jack"), which is covered in tiny flowers.

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