Skunk Cabbages and an alternate

James Waddick
Wed, 07 Mar 2007 14:20:56 PST
>  My admittedly limited observations have led me to   wonder whether 
>it favors stagnant water.  Any comments?

Dear Russell and all;
	I have to limit myself to seeing plants growing in the wild. 
I sort of hate to say In the middle of a stream although I sort of 
already did.
	I have seen both the American species in the middle of 
running water in spring, but I have seen the Eastern Symplocarpus in 
wet boggy spots and in fairly still pond edge sites.  I don't think 
they'd do well in say a garden pond, but I have seen plenty of pix of 
the Asian Lysichiton next to ponds or rice paddies. Some of these 
spots may just flood in spring and then run off and dry in summer.

	I can't say I have had much luck growing any of them here 
where not are native or where the climate is drastically different.

	I would like to add a word in favor of the 'quiet' relative 
Calla palustris. This is smaller and has less showy flowers than 
Lysichiton, but  showier than Symplocarpus and it definitely does 
well in still water. I've grown it in a wet tub. This isn't seen much 
in gardens or ponds, but I think it is easier and more tolerant of 
garden conditions.

	I have never heard it called a skunk cabbage and the foliage 
does not have a foul odor, but has attractive shiny and heart shaped 
leaves and clear white 'calla' flowers. I just Googled a source and 
was surprised to find that it is available from Wim. Tricker Inc. 
This is a very old water plant business and glad to see it still 

		Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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