To celebrate the first days of spring I thought it would be good to highlight one of the earliest spring bloomers, skunk cabbage! Here are 10 fun facts about this unique, native species:
1 Eastern skunk cabbage belongs to Araceae, the same plant family as calla lilies, flamingo flowers, and titan arums!
2 Where might you find this odd little plant? If you live in Illinois, it’s
mostly distributed in the northeastern corner of the state, but can be found in
some central-Illinois counties. Generally it grows in wet areas like swamps,
seeps, deciduous woodlands, wet thickets, fens, and bogs.
8 Each successfully pollinated flower in a skunk cabbage spadix produces a berry
fruit. The berries are clustered very close together, hence the plant’s genus
name, Symplocarpus, which comes from
the Greek symploke meaning “a
connection” and karpos meaning
“fruit.” Don’t ever eat skunk cabbage berries though; they’re poisonous!
10 Want to get skunk cabbage seeds to germinate? Then make sure to keep them
wet! Also, be sure to plant skunk cabbage in a partly sunny location where the
soil is mucky and constantly wet!