Definition of jack-in-the-pulpit in English:


Pronunciation /ˌjakinT͟Həˈpo͝olpət/ /ˌdʒækɪnðəˈpʊlpət/


  • Any of several small plants of the arum family.

    a North American arum with a green or purple-brown spathe. Genus Arisaema, family Araceae: three species, the woodland jack-in-the-pulpit (A. atrorubens), the small jack-in-the-pulpit or swamp jack-in-the-pulpit (A. triphyllum), and the northern jack-in-the-pulpit (A. stewardsonii)another term for cuckoopint

    ‘The wildflowers, many of which bloom in May, include waterleaf, wild ginger, red trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, smooth and woolly blue violet, Solomon's seal, false Solomon's seal, and enchanter's nightshade.’
    • ‘Jack-in-the-pulpits are perennials that pass the winter underground as corms. In the spring, they send up a shoot, which unfolds one or two leaves and a "flower"’
    • ‘Jack-in-the Pulpits are native to wet woodlands and heavily foliaged areas from Nova Scotia to Minnesota and southward to Florida and Texas, so Kansas and Nebraska do not have exclusive rights to this exotic looking group.’


Mid 19th century so named because the erect spadix overarched by the spathe resembles a person in a pulpit.