What could be more wonderful than an email entitled ‘Propagation question’? Mary asks,
Can we propagate Jack-in-the-Pulpit with the red seeds we have? John is most curious, I'm just hoping for more through some method not involving human intervention.
The answer is: Yes, you can, and be careful with those red berries (the white seeds are inside). Like many fruits, they contain an enzyme to inhibit germination (no point germinating inside the fruit, or inside of an animal or bird who eats the fruit - plants are clever). But Arisaema berries also contain calcium oxalate crystals, which really burn. So wear latex or rubber gloves to clean the seed from the pulp. You can sow outside now or in spring. You'd probably get a lower germination rate than you would if you sow indoors with coddling, but I assume coddling is the sort of human intervention you want to avoid. If you're sowing indoors, soaking them for a day or two might speed germination.
They are slow from seed - the first year you get one leaf (and not the typical leaf). The second year, expect typical foliage, but no bloom. If all goes well, you'll have flowers the next year, but probably no berries (male flowers only). But they will get there. You can also divide them - your patch is pretty established. Divide in fall rather than disturb 'em in spring. I divided by accident, when I dumped out a pot I thought had nothing in it, and found the dormant corm and its little offsets.
The Connecticut Botanical Society has beautiful photos, including one showing off the berries.More questions, please!