Symplocarpus foetidus (closer to bulbous than cardamine)

Steve Marak
Sat, 06 Apr 2013 13:53:00 PDT

One of my favorite North American aroids, though they don't grow this 
far south and west (NW Arkansas). I'd love to see any pictures you get 
of the natural variation in the plants.

I've tried growing Lysichiton, the western skunk cabbage. Fine in the 
winter, but just wouldn't take our summers. (My source was a friend in 
the Pacific NW, so perhaps plants from the southern end of the range 
would have a better chance here.) Symplocarpus has such a wide range it 
might well be more adaptable, but apparently no one but me wants to grow 


On 4/6/2013 2:23 PM, Ellen Hornig wrote:
> Do skunk cabbages (Symplocarpus foetidus) qualify as bulbous? geophytic?
>   They have thickened rootstocks, anyway - yes?
> I ask because fairly near our home is a swamp with thousands of them
> blooming now, and I've been surprised at the range of spathe color.  The
> darkest are almost-solid (subtlely mottled) maroon; the palest are almost
> solid yellow-green, with modest purple stippling; and in between there's a
> full range from very heavily to lightly mottled and stippled.  If I have a
> chance, I'm going back with boots and a camera to record some of them.
> Of course I've seem Symplocarpus before, but I've never stopped to study a
> large colony.  The smell is somewhat offputting, but the plants themselves
> are entrancing at this season.
> Ellen

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