It emits a smell not unlike that putrefying flesh, which is most unattractive. I was, therefore, mystified to find insects trying to crawl into the cavernous mouth of an Arisaema flower. A Botany maven then informed that certain types of insects are actually attracted to this foul scent and will go into the flower looking for easy pickings on the dead flesh of some animals. Arisaema cleverly imitates this stench, and once the unsuspecting insect walks into its flower, it (the insect) gets stuck in the slightly sticky substance inside the flower.
The ones seen last year were light green all over, whereas this year, two ore interesting types seem to have sprung up. One is of the palest green with dark green stripes. The other, has violet, almost brown stripes. I find this a bit like describing the colour of a zebra: is it white with black stripes? Or black with white ones?! A learned Botany type tells me that some scientists classify these as three variations of the one species, whereas others say these are three distinct species! At any rate, they all belong to the magnoliophyta (flowering plant) division, and to the liliopsida class.
A little later last year, I was also fortunate enough to be to photograph the fruit of Jack-in-the-pulpit. I little knew that this cluster of shiny berries was a part of the same plant I'd condemned as being rather unsightly earlier! The fruit is smooth, shiny green and about a centimetre in diametre. It begins to turn bright red before the plant goes dormant in winter.
The dangerous aspect of Arisaema cannot be emphasised enough. The presence of calcium oxalate crystals can cause of the mouth and digestive system, and on rare occasions, the swelling of the mouth and throat may be severe enough to affect breathing.