While the colours of these two Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers are quite different, they are of the same species, Arisaema atrorubens, otherwise known as Woodland Jack-in-the-pulpit. Under the umbrella of A. triphyllum, it is up for debate whether or not to consider Woodland Jack as simply a variety or a separate species. Two 3-part leaves as opposed to one is its main distinguishing characteristic.
Woodland Jack grows throughout Southwestern Ontario in woods and swamps. The flowers grow at the base of the boy part, called a spadix, which stands hidden beneath a leaf-like bract, called a spathe. The fruit of Jack grows in a club-like or egg-shaped bunch, deep green through the summer, then bright orange-red as the nights turn cool.
The only edible part of Jack-in-the-pulpit is the corm, an underground storage structure from which the roots sprout. Dangerous to eat raw, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals, once thoroughly dried it can be ground into flour or thinly sliced like potato chips.
As an enthusiastic student of the natural world, I share my explorations of all that is wild with all of you — teacher, parent, and child!