Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus
An attractive plant for wet woodland gardens, forming a clump of luxuriant green leaves. The Skunk Cabbage is native to wooded wetlands, fresh and tidal marshes of eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Wawa, Ontario to southern Quebec; south to Tennessee and North Carolina ). It is endangered in Tennessee. It is also native to far eastern Russia, China and Japan.
It is poisonous however and should not be eaten. The plant contains tiny crystals which are highly irritating to mucous membrances. If eaten in large enough quantity, it can cause death by suffocation by causing the throat to swell and even close.
The leaves are up to 22 x 16 inches in size.
The flowers appear before the foliage during early spring. Skunk Cabbage is a very important plant ecologically, it provides nectar for bees when other sources of it are sparse.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in partial to full shade on wet soil. Clay tolerant

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on April 6 2012 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photos taken on May 18 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 23 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 22 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken @ Middle Patuxent, Clarksville, MD on Apr 24 2015

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo of unknown internet source

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