Lysichiton americanus (Western Skunk Cabbage)


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Plant Description: A large leaved perennial with a yellow spiked spathe that flowers in early Spring. Found most often in shaded stream banks, marshes, and wet locations with some shade coverage. Blooms give off a distinct odor that explains the common name "skunk cabbage." This odor attracts flies, beetles, and other beneficial insects that pollinate Western Skunk Cabbage.

Young leaves and roots have historically been eaten, leaves can be made into a poultice for burns. *CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE. NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*

  • Height: 2-4 ft
  • Width: 1-3 ft
  • Sun Needs: part sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Wet
  • Bloom Time: March-June
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: Skunk Cabbage grows in very wet locations such as stream banks, swamps, and wetlands. Native flies and beetles are attracted to the odor of this plant and are known pollinators.

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