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.