Jack-in-the-pulpit fruits are clustered berries that turn from shiny green to brilliant scarlet. The foliage usually has withered away by the time the fruits ripen, and without leaves, they are indistinguishable from those of the closely related green dragon.
It's not our largest violet, but it's one of the most common. The coloration of these delicate-looking flowers often looks faded. Look for it in fields, meadows, glades, rights-of-way, disturbed sites and possibly your front lawn.
Often growing in colonies, mayapple is a common spring wildflower that makes its biggest impression with its leaves, which resemble umbrellas arising from a single stalk. The whitish, waxy flowers form beneath the leaves, at the axil where the stalk splits into leaves.
The whitish, waxy flowers of mayapple form beneath the leaves, at the axil where the stalk splits into leaves. Plants with only 1 leaf will not flower or fruit; only plants with 2 or 3 leaves can form flowers and fruits.
Flowers of Midwestern arrowhead arise in whorls of 2 or 3. The flowers on the lowest part of the flowering stalk are female and are not showy. The male flowers (pictured) grow higher on the stalks. They are showy, with 3 white petals and many yellow stamens.
The leaves of many arrowhead species typically have arrowhead-shaped leaves. The genus name, Sagittaria, refers to these sagittate leaves and shares its Latin linguistic root with the constellation Sagittarius, the archer.
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