Skunk Cabbage Flower Plant

Tree Branch

About the Skunk Cabbage Flower Plant

If you are looking for Skunk Cabbage Fowers, chances are you will not find them in the home garden. We do not know of any seed companies that carry the seed or rhizomes. However, you will find Skunk Cabbage plants growing in woodlands, wetlands, and near streams. They are native of North America, from California to Alaska and east to Montana.

Symplocarpus Foetidus

Skunk Cabbage Flower Plant Description

Skunk cabbage is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. The three-inch flower stem produces brown flowers and will grow right through the receding snow in the spring. Flowers produce berry-like fruit.

What is most memorable about an encounter with this flower is its strong, offensive odor, resembling rotting meat. While humans do not like the smell, bee and fly pollinators are attracted to the foul odor.

Skunk Cabbage is grown from seeds. It is also propagated by digging up rhizomes of established plants and replanting them.

Plant Height: Early spring blooms grow 3″. The plant grows up to 3 feet, with individual leaves that can grow to one foot across.

The leaves are edible, ONLY if dried first. It is important to be able to distinguish between the different varieties, as one variety is poisonous.

Other Names

Other names include:

  • Devils’ Tobacco

  • Bear’s Leaf

  • Bears Roots

  • Corn Lilly, a poisonous variety.

Medicinal Uses for

In the 1800s a drug called “Dracontinium”, made from skunk cabbage, was used to treat a variety of ailments.

The rhizomes are used for a variety of ailments, including:

  • Antispasmodic

  • asthma

  • coughs

  • headaches

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