Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, Hiram, Maine
John Bonanno photo, June 21,2009

"When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees."-Abraham Lincoln

It has been much more than less damp and gray for weeks in Maine so it was a perfect time for a wet walk in the woods. These plants had to grow through over two feet of the packed twigs from heaped branches left after logging three years ago.
Euell Gibbons, in Stalking the Healthful Herbs, informs us that the root (or more accurately, the corm) is full of burning calcium oxalate crystals when fresh, but becomes pleasingly palatable after slicing and leaving it to dry for at least five months to break down the poison. Perhaps in a prolonged period of want I would give it a try; but for now I'll just enjoy the beauty of these arums and let those corms lie beneath the forest trash.

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