Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Symplocarpus foetidus Skunk Cabbage
An attractive plant for wet woodland gardens, forming a clump of luxuriant green leaves. The leaves are up to 22 x 16 inches in size.
The Skunk Cabbage is native to wooded wetlands of eastern North America from Minnesota to southern Quebec; south to Tennessee and North Carolina. It is endangered in Tennessee. It is also native to northeastern Asia.
. 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. Skunk Cabbage is a very important plant ecologically, it provides nectar for bees when other sources of it are sparse.
* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.
* photo taken on April 6 2012 in Baltimore Co., MD