Eastern Skunk Cabbage (symplocarpus foetidus)

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Jean Gregory  Evans

Franklin, North Carolina, United States

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Sizing Information

Small 13" x 13"
Medium 16" x 16"
Large 18" x 18"

Features

  • Selected design printed on both sides
  • 1 inch wide super strong cotton shoulder strap (14 inch length)
  • Soft yet hard wearing 100% spun Polyester Poplin fabric
  • Dry or Spot Clean Only

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Artist's Description

Eastern Skunk Cabbage
by Jean Gregory Evans

Spring’s first wildflower
Arrives at Winter’s end
An awe-inspiring oddity
An actual anomaly

The hooded plant is medicinal
Some know it as magical too
Leaves likely to burn or be toxic
Unless dried and cooked in a stew

Symplocarpus foetidus
Padded, push-up plant leaves
Peppered in green and red speckles
Like a mosaic of colored tiles

Spathes impale cold, crisp air
Ascending in swampy wetland
Heat producing thermogenesis
Melts the frozen ground

It’s warm inside the shiny sheath
Where sits a flowering orb
Awaiting and bewitching
To those who go within

Vault with warm enclosure
And foul smelling odor
Lures the itsy-bitsy
But not to dine upon

Carrion-feeding insects
Like scavenging flies and busy bees
Who carry pollen bit by bit
Hover in these hangouts

It’s impossible to dig one
Downreaching contractile roots
Dig deeper every year
And pulls the plant
Beyond the depths

To transplant hell !!


This particular skunk cabbage plant lives beside the Lower Lake Trail, a wetland section of The Highlands Botanical Garden in Highlands, North Carolina, USA which is a small town near The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The skunk cabbage is a native wildflower that is an uncommon sight on this side of the mountains but I have learned that it is more common on the Tennessee side of The Smokies. It is a very interesting plant.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage (symplocarpus foetidus) has been featured in:

  • Wildflowers of the World

More information about this interesting plant can be found here: My Favorite Site about Skunk Cabbage
Wikipedia – Skunk Cabbage

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS 1/60s 5mm f/2.8 ISO-125

© Jean Gregory Evans

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