Jack-n-pulpit sowing

arcy_gwAugust 31, 2004

My Jacks have very large red beautiful seed heads. I have many of them so am not sure what to do. In the past I have cut the heads off and buried them near the mother plant. I was trying to beat the critters to the seeds. When is the best time to plant the seeds? I have many spots now with teeny tiny Jacks developing. If they all make it they will be way too close together. What is the best plan? How many years from seed to flower? I live in the woods so I have the needed enviornment but I am wondering how to optimize. The more the merrier!

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joepyeweed(5b IL)

i have found Jack in the pulpits are very hardy - spread quickly - and transplant well - if you have alot in one spot - you can dig them up and move them - give them to someone etc. etc. i have always done this in the spring when they are little shoots - (they look like little xxxxx)
as for the seeds - i have tried to start some seedlings from cold stratified seeds but they didnt take... the ones i left on the ground did better ... anyone else have other results?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 10:19AM
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I had poor success planting Jacks from nursery stock (only one of four survived) but I think starting them from seed is going to be more successful.

I read that the seeds will germinate after the fruits decompose, because a chemical in the fruit inhibits germination. So last summer, I cut a ripe red seed head from a friend's garden. I left it in a cool spot outdoors until the fruits started to soften and decompose, then I broke t hem up and scattered them around my woodland garden. This summer I noticed at least a dozen seedlings that look promising -- same 'look' as mature Jack leaflets, but only a single heart-shaped leaf rather than the familiar triple leaf.

Can anyone confirm (or at least encourage) my suspicion that these leaflets are baby Jacks that will be back next spring?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 10:35AM
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The red berry outer coating needs to be removed before the seed will germinate. It is some type of an inhibitor. Wear gloves of some sort, like disposable gloves and just squeeze the smaller, harder seed out and plant immediately. The outer coating can cause allergic reactions in some. I noticed a red, slightly burning sensation when I touched one after peeling. You should have excellent germination then.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 4:11PM
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Juvenile JITP's(seedlings) have only a single leaflet for the first and sometimes 2 or 3 years after germination. Once thay mature and have the familiar tripartite leaf, then they should begin to bloom(spathe & spadix). There is usually only male or female parts present on the spadix, but occasionallly both are present, male at the top, female lower, with a seperator. In the majority of plants though, it takes two to tango, m-f, and a vector for pollination, to produce a seed pod.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2004 at 9:02PM
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I can vouch for how easy they transplant. I have taken over 100 from the deeper woods to the front borders of my property. They all do well. I have moved them both spring when I can be sure what they are and in the fall when the red seed head makes them easier to find in the woods. I read they need leaf mold to germinate. The oak leaves stay on the ground all winter so the Jacks love my yard. I just would rather start them in the right place and save the step of moving them later.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 5:42AM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

I have moved my plants in the fall with great sucess! I also have just tossed the broken up seed heads in the general area of which I have wanted them with very good results! I wish trillium were that easy!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 4:10PM
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Here's some I germinated of the Japanese species A. ringens. At least this one germinates well! PF

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 6:26PM
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How wonderful to find this thread! I just picked up two JIP seeds heads at a garden swap yesterday -- now I know how to plant them.

Any suggests on the best environment for them?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 5:02PM
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Somewhat moist part sun to shade location. At least that is where they grow the best on my property.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 8:50PM
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