Serving Suggestion: Don’t


Here’s another flowering-plant glamour shot from RC Gorge.

This, of course, is jack-in-the-pulpit, its spathe reflexed (vs the usual state, curved away from the camera to cover the spadix–Jack–inside his tubular boudoir.

This is, I confess, from a purists point of view, nature fakery since this plant is never found in this exact configuration in the wild.  But seeing a familiar thusly in new garb makes us see it differently the next time we find it undisturbed by meddling photographers.

Now, should you be interested in EATING this plant: Change your mind.

Read all about this plant’s sex-life and for how to prepare it for the table: fix potatoes instead.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and Jill

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Poisonous, eh? I wonder why nature has endowed poisonous plants with such brilliant color–guess she has a nasty sense of humor! Unless, of course, it is supposed to be a warning rather than an attraction.