Skunk Cabbage

Botanical Name: Symplocarpus foetidus

Height: About 40 cm.

Season of Bloom: Very early. Skunk Cabbage sends up its flower shoot through ice.

Growing Conditions: Swampy ground in deciduous forest, often along stream banks.

Seed Source: We collected our seed just south of Ottawa.

Wildlife Benefits: Pollinated by early flies.

Remarks: Skunk Cabbage dies back in mid-summer — not spring ephemeral but summer senescent. Consider this an opportunity: interplant with Cardinal Flower and Purple-stemmed Aster.

Similar Species: Nothing like it, but Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) shares aroid flowers and love of low, moist ground. Combine Skunk Cabbage with Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) and ferns.

More plants for shady places.

Emerging Skunk Cabbage in the wild. WE collected our seed from this population just south of Ottawa.