Monday, June 02, 2014


It is not colorful, it has no sweet flowery scent, and it can very easily be missed as one strolls through the woods, but the Jack-in-the-Pulpit is quite possibly my favorite plant. When I moved to Maine twenty years ago, I found a few of these interesting plants growing in my woods, and I have carefully transplanted, protected, and nurtured them so that I now have several dozen growing and blooming in my gardens and plenty more still in the woods behind my house.

I think of Jack-in-the-Pulpit as the quintessential New England wildflower, though I'm told it can be found as far west as Minnesota and as far south as Florida. It is most certainly a plant found in the moist coniferous woods of the northeast, much like two of my other favorites—the Trillium and the Lady's Slipper. But Jack is so adorable—the cute little guy standing tall in his pulpit covered with a stunning purple and green striped hoodie.
From Jack-in-the-Pulpit, edited by J. G. Whittier, 1884

Jack in-the-pulpit
 Preaches to-day
Under the green trees
 Just over the way. 
Squirrel and song-sparrow,
 High on their perch,
Hear the sweet lily-bells
 Ringing to church. 
Come, hear what his reverence
 Rises to say
In his low painted pulpit
 This calm Sabbath day.

Christine Cote
Shanti Arts

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