Jack In the Pulpit: Soft Pink With Deep Pink Stripes

Jack In the Pulpit: Soft Pink With Deep Pink Stripes

Arisaema candidissimum, is more commonly referred to as jack in the pulpit, or sometimes pink cobra lily; it is a wonderful plant for the partial to full shade portion of your garden. Jack in the Pulpit does not appear above the ground until late spring or early summer. The inflorescence is produced before the leaves open fully. The small flowers are at the base of a thin spadix which is surrounded by a hood-like spathe. The spathe is 3 to 4 inches long, on a stem about 6 inches tall. It varies in color, typically being white, often pinkish or greenish white or cream, with stripes which are green on the outside and pink on the inside. The palmately lobed leaves are about 12 inches long with three lobes (similar to a Trillium), 8 inches long. 

Arisaema candidissimum is one of the easiest-to-grow Jack in the Pulpits and one of the most exciting of the cobra lilies.  It emerges in very late spring (May or June).   It produces offsets freely in a well-drained site.  Jack in the Pulpit will survive without snow cover to -20°F, this species makes you wait longer for its arrival.  When spring is nearing its end in June, the flower will open at the same time as the leaf, and will last in full bloom through most of July. It is said to be scented although I cannot detect it. The three-parted leaflets continue growing larger after the flower is spent; as long as its ground doesn’t dry out at the end of summer, the leaves will last well into October. Enclosed within the spathe, the spadix, the sexual part of the flower, is green.

The plant is often male when young. As its size and strength are built up over several years, it may become female, and able to develop seeds. After it produces seeds one year, it may revert back to male until its strength is built up again. The tubers of Arisaema candidissimum Jack in the Pulpit are not touchy about water when planted in the garden.  Be sure to not to overwater them until you see a shoot appear at the soil surface. Until then only lightly mist the soil and let the surface dry out somewhat between misting’s.

How To Make Your Jack In The Pulpit Thrive

Arisaema candidissimum grows best in a rich well-drained soil, preferring a sandy loose soil.  When planting you should choose a location with light to open shade, avoiding locations with hot afternoon sun. Do not bury the tuber too deep; it will grow best when the top is covered by an inch or less of loose sandy soil and compost.  You should water these plants regularly in the summer. This Jack in the Pulpit can be very slow to sprout in the spring, sometimes they may not start growing until early to mid-summer. Be patient especially with newly planted tubers.

General Jack In The Pulpit Information

Pests and Diseases

Jack in the Pulpit is susceptible to slugs and vine weevil. Generally it is disease free.


If you are propagating by seed you need to sow them in containers in a cold frame in autumn or spring. Offsets may be removed in late summer.

Garden Uses

Grows well with other flowering perennials in the garden; it will grow into a rather large group over time.  Use in your cottage or informal garden, in flower borders and beds, or as an underplanting for roses and shrubs.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Ranunculaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Flower Color: White, pink stripes
  • Flowering Time: Early Summer
  • Foliage Type: Deciduous
  • Leaf Type: Broad, trifoliate leaves
  • Height: 12 to 24 inches
  • Width: Approximately 9 inches
  • Light: Filtered light, or morning sun and afternoon shade
  • Hardiness Zones: Zone 5 to 9
  • Water Requirements: Modest watering, if you allow it to go dry it will go dormant
  • Soil Requirements: Average to rich and well drained, acid or neutral, loam, chalk or sand
  • Growth: Slowly expanding colony

Photo Search

Flicker –  Jack in the Pulpit Photos

Google – Jack in the Pulpit Photos

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