Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk-cabbage)

If you are like me you are ready for winter to be over. Unfortunately, we still have a way to go, but the recent streak of at least some sunny days gets me chomping at the bit to get out and browse the park for flowers rather than just looking at pictures.

With that in mind, one of the first wildflower that emerges in the spring is Skunk-cabbage. Although most of you probably haven’t ever heard of it, Skunk-cabbage is one of the more unique wildflowers I have encountered. Obviously, by its name it’s not notable for its delicate fragrance! Those Latin scholars among us – I am sure you are reading this blog – will recognize the the root of foetidus will recognize foetid as “smelling extremely unpleasant. I have not tested this characteristic out myself however. I will take their word on it!

North American Indians used the plant for treatment of respiratory indications such as asthma and bronchitis. However, as the young plants are known to cause skin blistering. Blistering would be enough of a deterrent for me to not even consider using it for any medicinal use.

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2017 some rights reserved ©️

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2017 some rights reserved ©️

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