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Eastern Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus


Leafy wetland wildflower that comes up early in spring. Blooms come up first as mottled purplish spathe that is open on the side. Inside is a small, light colored ball shaped spadix with little flowers all over it. Green, cabbage-like leaves sprout afterwards. Leaves are foul smelling when crushed (hence the name). The flowers have an unpleasant odor as well that attracts insects to help with pollination.


Marshy woodlands. Connetquot State Park, NY.


This plant can produce it's own heat up to 59-95°F ( 15-35°C). Allowing it to melt ice and snow and attract early insects with the heat and odor! Apparently edible if prepared correctly. Not edible raw. Spotting number 400!

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ForestDragon 9 years ago

eftco88, glad I was able to help you identify your mystery plant!

MayraSpringmann 9 years ago


eftco88 9 years ago

Congrats on 400th spotting !!!:)

eftco88 9 years ago

Thank you for the identification! I saw this on a hike and had no clear idea on what it was!

PaulineChvilicek 9 years ago

Skunk cabbage! Very interesting plant!

ForestDragon 9 years ago

Spotting number 400! Woo hoo!

Spotted by

Islip, New York, USA

Spotted on Mar 29, 2013
Submitted on Apr 1, 2013

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