Arisaema triphyllum /Arum Family
Flowers are either male or female; plants can change "gender" from one year to the next, depending on the health of the plant (it requires more energy to produce fruits than pollen). Female plants usually have 2 leaves, males 1 leaf. "Black Jacks" have dark maroon stripes on the pulpit (spathe) and on "Jack" (spadix). These are common in the Smokies in April. These plants are sometimes called "Indian Turnip" because the roots were once eaten by the Native Americans. This is not recommended though, the roots contain large amounts of oxalic acid crystals which can make the tongue swell severely. The roots had to be boiled again and again to remove the chemical.
Where seen:Great Smoky Mountains NP, Frozen Head SP, Piney River Trail, Oak Ridge Greenways, Haw Ridge Greenway, Warriors' Path SP, Cumberland Trail, Ijams Nature Center