Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bog Jack-in-the-pulpit - Arisaema stewardsonii   Britton
Members of Araceae:
Members of Arisaema with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Family Araceae
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DistributionArisaema triphyllum has recently been split into several species (that are found in NC), and many herbarium specimens have not been checked to verify their identity. Therefore, for each of the species of the "Arisaema triphyllum group" -- A. pusillum, A. quinatum, A. stewardsonii, and A. triphyllum (strict sense), the website editors have mapped only records where the species name (i.e., A. pusillum) or the variety (i.e., A. triphyllum var. pusillum) is on the specimen label. Simple "Arisaema triphyllum" records are not mapped. As a result, the range map for each of these four species is likely quite incomplete. However, A. stewardsonii may be the rarest of the group, being restricted in NC to just the Mountains and upper Piedmont (mostly in foothills).

Weakley (2018) gives its overall range as "NS west to MN, south to w. NC, e. TN, and n. IN".
AbundanceWeakley's (2018) map indicates it is "rare" in the Mountains, and absent downstate. However, the NCNHP database contains several records for the western Piedmont, as well as many additional records in the Mountains not supported by SERNEC records. The NCNHP considers it as a Watch List species.
HabitatThis is a species of cool to cold peaty wetlands, being found in bogs, openings in swamps, and along boggy stream margins.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is one of the A. triphyllum complex, that is, one of three entities split out as species by some authors and simply as varieties by others. Basically,it resembles the common A. triphyllum (strict sense), with its three leaflets in a plane parallel to the ground, and a conspicuous pulpit-like spathe up to 3-4 inches tall. This species is separated from others by a combination of 1) leaves green beneath and not glaucous (as in A. triphyllum and A. quinatum); 2) a strongly fluted (ridged) spathe vertically; and 3) the hood of the spathe being green but with white or purple stripes. [Note that several species can have a combination of white, purple, and green stripes on the sides of the spathe, but the top of the hood in this species is distinctly striped. Though it is a rare species, it is possible that it has been overlooked by biologists as just being a "jack-in-the-pulpit" and calling it as A. triphyllum, especially if they are unaware of this taxon.
Taxonomic CommentsSee comments in Distribution. Weakley (2018) and a few other references do give it full species status, but most references do not. NatureServe does, but with the Q on the Global Rank for Questionable Taxonomy. Historically, authors have recognized the entities within A. triphyllum at various levels; genetic work is needed to better evaluate the splits.

Other Common Name(s)None?
State RankS3
Global RankG5T5 [G5]
State StatusW1
US Status
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B.A. SorrieWestern MA, 1980s. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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