Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Southern Jack-in-the-pulpit - Arisaema quinatum   (Nuttall) Schott
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Section 5 » Family Araceae
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Author(Nuttall) Schott
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 new 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. Based on Weakley's (2018) range map and the obviously incomplete data below, A. quinatum is limited in NC to the Mountains and Piedmont (and likely just the western Piedmont).

Weakley (2018) gives the overall range as: "Sc. [south-central] NC, sw. NC, se. TN south to Panhandle FL and e. TX". On the other hand, Wikipedia reports that it ranges north to VA and KY, which seems plausible considering the NC range map, where there are specimens for the northern mountains.
AbundanceWeakley's (2018) map indicates this species is "uncommon" in the Mountains and the Piedmont, and absent in the Coastal Plain. The editors consider the map to be very incomplete, based on Weakley's suggested abundances; however, it seems that the species is not rare enough to be a tracked species by NCNHP, and perhaps not even Watch List. It is given a State Rank of S3? for now.
HabitatThis is a species of bottomlands and mesic forests.
PhenologyBlooms from March to May, and fruits shortly after flowering. Weakley (2018) states "It is reported to flower later than A. pusillum or A. triphyllum when sympatric (Tennessee Flora Committee 2015)".
IdentificationThis is a jack-in-the-pulpit with 5 leaftets (usually), instead of three. In this species, the two side leaflets are each split in half to form additional but generally somewhat smaller leaflets, such that in this species the 5 leaflets tend to "complete" a whorl as seen from above. That is, leaflets point roughly to 7, 9, 12, 3, and 5 of a clock face when seen from above, as opposed to 3 leaflets (mainly) in A. triphyllum, A. pusillum, and A. stewardsonii, where the leaflets from above point toward 9, 12, and 3 on a clock face. In addition, the species can be separated from the very common A. triphyllum in its hood being green and either with an obtuse tip or abruptly acute -- as opposed to a hood either green or green striped with purple and it being long-acute in A. triphyllum. Generally speaking, for most biologists, the best field mark is the 5 leaflets that typically spread outwardly from a center spoke somewhat evenly as viewed from above. Only very rarely does Green Dragon (A. dracontium) show as few as 5 leaflets, and when in bloom it has a completely different flower.
Taxonomic CommentsMany references have this form listed as a variety of A. triphyllum, as A. triphyllum var. quinatum. 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)Five-leaved Jack-in-the-pulpit
State Rank[S3?]
Global RankG5T5 [GNR]
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