Our mystery seeds from last week were from Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum.

I told you there was a story, so here it goes:

Recently, I was walking in a woods in upstate New York with some acquaintances. One of the party knew I was interested in plants, so he showed me this plant that he had pulled up.

jack-in-the-pulpit-fruitFrankly, I was so irritated that he had pulled it up, that I only took a quick photo and didn’t open any of the fruit for seeds. We laid it on the ground near where he found it.

The fruit is from a wildflower known as Jack-in-the-pulpit. As far as I know it isn’t endangered, but it is a small perennial that only grows in specific woodland conditions.

Arisaema_triphyllum2(Photograph in the public domain from Wikimedia)

The flowers are deep inside that hooded structure (called a spathe) in the center of the plant. Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers in the spring.

800px-SeedsJack-in-pulpit(Photograph in the public domain from Wikimedia.) This is the image I cropped for the mystery seed post.

Generally I leave any plants I find in situ, unless they are invasive or common weeds, of course. I try to disturb the plant as little as possible while taking photographs in natural settings. It just seems like good practice.

Was it wrong for my acquaintance to have pulled it up? Or should I have been more forgiving and taken some of the seeds? After all, the deed was done.  What do you think? What is your policy towards photographing plants? What about for taking seeds?