Click for previous Image Image 1 of 4 Symplocarpus foetidus Skunk Cabbage

fantastic beaked hoods in mid-March

Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk Cabbage

Plant Type:


Symplocarpus foetidus - ​Early to mid spring shipment only. Get 'em in boggy, swampy, rich mucky ground right away! Huge bold green paddles erupt following the curious hooded mahogany-purple spathe, often clustered in numbers at ground level. The mahogany-purple "parrot beaks" can be mixed with short green lines upon the leathery hoods. The spathes protect the fat spadix where when pollinated the seed will mature. Eastern Skunk Cabbage revels in boggy, swampy conditions where rich bottomland soils accumulate. Indeed, constant moisture to mucky condition is required. Early season sun through deciduous overstory provides perfect light. When leaves populate trees and cast more shade as the arc of the sun rises and beams become more intense the increasing cool shade protects the huge leaves. Naturally occurring in Ontario east to the Atlantic. In the U.S. from Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and encompassing all states east to the Atlantic Ocean. We have Skunk Cabbage growing wild in many wet areas of our property in open shade to dappled exposure. We love its curious and bold presence in the wild scheme of things. Then again we love bogs and swamps; we think them fascinating habitats, most especially in the early season when mosquitoes haven't awakened. We think it especially fetching with moisture loving ferns and our native Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. Established pot grown division.


12-36 in


18-36 in



Characteristics and Attributes for Symplocarpus foetidus

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Winter / Early Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Shade
  • Dappled Shade


  • Wetland Reclamation
  • Bog
  • Accent
  • Natural Garden
  • Marginal

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Humus Laden
  • Organic
  • Wet
  • Moist
  • Fertile


  • Eastern North America

Propagated By

  • By Seed / Potted
  • Offset