General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 1 to 3'
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Malodorous
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Toxicity: Other: All parts of plant are poisonous except uncurled leaves and roots.
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Remove seeds from berry which contains chemicals that inhibit germination.
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant

Image
Common names
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Skunk Weed
  • Polecat Cabbage
  • Swamp Cabbage
  • Meadow Cabbage
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Symplocarpus foetidus
  • Synonym: Spathyema foetida
  • Synonym: Dracontium foetidum

Photo Gallery
Location: Oakland County, Michigan
Date: 03/28/2006
photo [cropped] by Per Verdonk via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com
Location: Graver Arboretum, Bath, Pennsylvania
Date: 04/13/2013
photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/p
Location: Fairfax, Virginia (May 2022)
Date: 2022-05-15
Location: Fairfax, Virginia (May 2022)
Date: 2022-05-15
Location: Fairfax, Virginia (May 2022)
Date: 2022-05-15
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Date: 2022-04-16

Date: c. 1910
illustration by Chester A. Reed from his book, 'Wild Flowers East
Location: Shenipsit State Forest, CT z6a
Date: 2011-04-13
Location: Shenipsit State Forest, CT z6a
Date: 2011-04-13

Credit Alexey Sergeev

credit: Quadell

Date: 2007-01-23
Credit NPS

Credit Alexey Sergeev

Date: 2007-10-13
Credit Alexey Sergeev

Credit Alexey Sergeev

Date: 2014-03-25
Inflorescence melted a hole through the snow cover. First sign of

Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Shenipsit State Forest, CT z6a
Date: 2011-04-13

Date: 2014-07-01
USDA
Comments:
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Jan 27, 2012 2:46 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get yellow pollen from this plant.
  • Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Feb 4, 2013 2:35 PM concerning plant:
    Growing in boggy conditions, most of the plants I see in this area are much closer to 3 feet tall than 1 foot. If I had a boggy area in my yard I'd definitely be growing Skunk Cabbage for it's lush bright green foliage. The spathe color is fairly variable and well worth a closer look. On a cold day I find it possible to feel the heat generated by the inflorescence (Thermogenesis).

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