Indian Turnip

Araceae triphyullum

ARACEAE (Arum Family)

This plant grows in moist shaded areas with filtered sunlight. The stem grows to be 8 inches to 3 feet tall. The plant grows from an underground corm. It has a compound leaf with three leaflets on a separate stem. The "pulpit" or spathe may be green or purple. The club-like "Jack" inside is called the spadix. Inside the "pulpit" are many tiny flowers that are pollinated by insects.


Seeds grow inside bright red berries. The corm was used in medicine by Native Americans. It produces stinging and severe burning if eaten raw but could be peeled, boiled, powdered, and heated again to make edible flour.


Resources compiled by Dr. Loretta Kuse