Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Clumpfoot Cabbage, Foetid Pothos, Meadow Cabbage, Polecat Weed,
Skunk Cabbage, or Swamp Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), commonly known as simply Skunk Cabbage, is a low growing, foul smelling plant that prefers wetlands. Native to eastern North America, it ranges from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. It is protected as endangered in Tennessee.
Eastern skunk cabbage has leaves which are large, 40–55 cm (15.75-21.5 in) long and 30–40 cm (12-15.75 in) broad. It flowers early in the spring when only the flowers are visible above the mud. The stems remain buried below the surface of the soil with the leaves emerging later. The flowers are produced on a 5–10 cm (2-5 in) long spadix contained within a spathe, 10–15 cm (4-6 in) tall and mottled purple in colour. The rhizome is often 30 cm (1 ft) thick.
Breaking or tearing a leaf produces a pungent but not harmful odor, the source of the plant's common name. T...