over run with Jack in the Pulpits!!!!

madeleine_02(Zone 6)May 13, 2012

My garden is over run with a species of Jack in the Pulpit.

I couldn't find a picture of this plant on the web but it's the classic three leaves but the "pulpit" is tall and narrow and green. The "jack' is a long black thread that extends way beyond the pulpit.

This plant doesn't care about growing conditions: sun, shade, dry or wet . . the monsters just keep on coming. As a matter of fact they seem to be getting worse.

For those who may ask; I use a wood mulch from a local garden nursery but I can't blame the nursery because these &$*#! plants were here when I moved in.

This year I am so sick of them that I just rip them out (they're very weak) hoping that the corms will die if they don't have leaves for photosynthesis.

If any of you can give me advice or at least help me identify these monsters I would appreciate it.

--Madeleine in Philadelphia

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madeleine_02(Zone 6)

As a follow up: the plants aren't more than 6-7 inches tall with the pulpit. My biggest problem with these plants are there are *thousands* of them all over the place.

--Madeleine in Philadephia, PA

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I too , have had a way more than normal amount of Jack in the pulpit's explosion...But i will leave them...they dont last that long anyways.The part that amazes me, is many of the little new ones are producing the flower allready ...so I have real tiny jack in the pulpits. I have never had that except on larger plants.This year , after the mild winter here, sure has made many different plants act strangely...Aw...Mother Nature always keeps you wondering...Tom

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:22PM
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madeleine_02(Zone 6)

I don't think you understand the magnitude of my Jack invasion. They are literally crowding out the other plants in my garden.

I don't want to use Roundup so I'm battling them with my bare hands (oh ok - ripping them out like weeds ;) I never heard of a situation like this and hoped someone could give me some insight as to where they came from and how they spread :/

--Madeleine in Philadelphia

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Sounds like a non-native member of the Arisaema genus might have gotten into your garden.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Madeline Wrote:

"I don't think you understand the magnitude of my Jack invasion."

My Response:

I am new to the forum and a beginner woodland gardener, however, I wanted to say that I feel your frustration in battling invasive perennials. My problem is not JITP but some mystery ground cover (2 types) that I don't even care to identify because I have so much of it.

Your response that I quoted was hilarious by-the-way and I understand it completely from a serious standpoint too.

Good Luck -- I'll watch this thread as I too have some JITP that I'm relocating and I hope it behaves (finger's crossed).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:03PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

I'd agree that that doesn't sound like the native Jack - Sounds more like an Asian variety. The native jack is pretty basic; Almost always completely green, as well as the "Jack". Also, the "Jack" doesn't extend past the pulpit, as you're describing here. I would say dig up the corms, or use vinegar instead of round-up. The native Jack-in-the-pulpits spread a bit, but never to this magnatude. I can think of a lot of natives that would out-compete Jacks; Mayapple comes to mind.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:05PM
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madeleine_02(Zone 6)

Ha! I found the answer! esh_ga gave me the first clue - invasive Asian species.

It turns out that these monsters are native to Southern Japan and are called "Pinellia ternata"

here's the picture:

And here's a discussion I found about it. The writer says "P. ternata thrives in the mid-Atlantic region and, left on its own, is capable of nearly doubling in population every year. " aiyeeeeeeeee

Apparently the only way to get rid of it is through digging it out entirely, securing it in a plastic bag and throwing it in the garbage. sheesh

Thanks for your responses everyone. I didn't know 'Jack" about these plants but now I do!

Philadelphia, PA

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:18AM
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I googled for more pictures. I saw nothing that makes me think like Jacks, they get a red seed head. How are they so prolific? They have an unusual look but I can see how you would not want as many as you seem to have acquired. Let us know how your removal efforts work out for you.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:36AM
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buckeye15(No OH)

As soon as you mentioned the height I thought you might be invaded by Pinellia. Good luck with getting rid of it. A crazy nurseryman talked me into a quart pot of it years ago. I left it in for 3 years, and have been fighting it ever since. Between digging and spot treating with glyphosate I now only see the occasional seedling, but it will be a battle for you. Don't let them go to seed!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Thanks for the update madeleine!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 7:42AM
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madeleine_02(Zone 6)

To give you an example of why I thought these were Jack in the Pulpits, here is the "flower"

The following web site has gorgeous images of how prolific this monster can be and shows how the seeds are formed. Too bad it's in Czech but as they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words:"

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) so they make seeds easily. The seeds are distributed when the flower reaches maturity and flops over, broadcasting the seeds.

The plant also spreads by rhizomes, and there are also small bulblets (a.k.a. bulbils) at the base of each leaf.

See what I'm up against? my summer will be spent trying to beat this pest and I'm determined to be the winner >:)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Good luck. I have been trying to dig these things out everywhere. They are in every one of my beds as well as covering the yard.

I am so angry about these things, and that it took me two years to figure out what they were and how invasive they were. My garden was just getting a nice, mature look to it and now I am afraid to transplant, plant or do anything. All it does is move these things more around the yard and deeper into the roots of my plants.

I was told to cut off the leaves, but I can't see how that helps if it is still forming a bulblet at the base, or underground, as the stem is sometimes (often) buried.

Digging is the only way, yet I see the small bulbs drop as I do so. it is amazing how large the bulbs get, and the mass of bulbs itself becomes huge, sort of actually erupting from the ground. Terrible stuff, I can't imagine planting it by choice.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I am in Philadelphia, by the way.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 6:13PM
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ken_mce(zone 4, NY)

What if you went around twice a week with a weed whacker?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:49PM
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madeleine_02(Zone 6)

ken_mce, with so many seeds and corms under the ground, you would be weed whacking twice a week for years. Plus the fact that precision whacking isn't easy. These monsters are in with all my perennials.

You can't suffocate them. I have moved big rocks in my garden only to find pinellas I hoped to suffocate still there and growing vigorously after two years! The only difference is lack of color, which they quickly regain.

I spoke with a professional gardener friend of mine. He told me the only thing that will keep it under control (not eradicate) is a over the counter spray designed to kill poison ivy.

Even using the spray, there are problems: 1/ there are literally hundreds of tiny seeds and corms in the soil that havenâÂÂt sprouted so one good spray job wonâÂÂt get rid of the future generations 2/ these plants are so hardy that often one application wonâÂÂt do it. You need to go back after a couple weeks to reapply.

I intend to keep after them with the spray. Digging them out is thankless and futile. IâÂÂve thrown my organic principles to the wind and will use the spray.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 7:17AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I am fighting garlic mustard, another foreign invasive plant. I've done hours of reading and realize that the only way to preserve the native plants is to use chemicals to protect their habitat. And it is an on going battle. Seeds that are under ground can survive for decades. If one plant sprouts and is allowed to go to seed, the frustrating cycle begins again. It takes dedication. And we need to educate our friends and neighbors of the dangers of introducing non-native plants into our communities.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:36AM
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