Dear Mr Smarty Pants.I hope you can help to save my sanity! I am a true believer in using native plantings, having a yard that is 99% native. I hope that fact provides me a little extra credit toward getting this probably non-native id question answered.for a neighbor who has asked me to help. She has a patch of about 13 of these plants growing in moist soil next to her foundation. We live in Birmingham, AL. Each plant is about 3-5 foot tall with a single stem arising from the ground. The leaves are huge (about 10 inches long and 8 inches wide)heart-shaped and toothed. Each has a solitary, umbrel shaped, deep purple flower on top. I picked a leaf to bring it in for closer inspection and it smells awful, like skunk cabbage. The leaves are hairy with the most obvious (pointy) hairs on the underside veins. The leaves are opposite one another along the main stem of the plant. The stem is greenish-purple. There are 2 small buds just opposite to where each leaf emerges from the main stem. The purple coloring runs into the leaf stems. Each leaf stem being about 4 inches long. The purple color also runs up into into the first 30% or so of the veins on the top of each leaf. Three main veins come out of the leaf stem into the leaf proper. The center vein goes all the way to the pointed tip of the heart-shaped leaf. The other 2 veins goes off to each side but do not terminate on the edge. There are additional veins running off the central middle vein. Any plant come to mind?
Mr. Smarty Plants applauds your dedication to native plants and your kindness towards your neighbor; but, unfortunately, that still doesn't make us experts in identifying non-native plants. Our expertise is in plants native to North American and your description, although very detailed, doesn't bring any plant to mind. I suggest that you take photographs of the plant in question and submit them to the UBC Botanical Garden's Plant Identification Forum. They do an excellent job with non-native plants.
More Plant Identification Questions
Identifying a plant/weed blooming in Feb. in Texas February 24, 2010 - Can you help me identify a flowering plant I have found growing in my yard? It is a tiny green plant most months of the year, with very tiny deep to pastel blue flowers on it in early spring ( it is i... view the full question and answer
Wild onions and garlic in Genus Allium June 25, 2006 - My husband and I found a strange bulb like plant that when broken open it smells and tastes like strong onion or garlic. The heads are at the top of the plant though not at the root base like most wil... view the full question and answer
Plant identification June 29, 2010 - I live outside of Cincinnati and I have a bush that has long yellowish leaves that grow like a spider plant. Just recently long purple things have grown in the middle of them. Is this normal or should... view the full question and answer
Identification of tree with fuschia berries in Pennsylvania October 26, 2008 - Northeastern Pennsylvania tree with fuschia berries in autumn. Found one in woods,never saw one before. view the full question and answer
Plant identification August 17, 2008 - We are trying to identify a plant we saw on a walk. It's about a foot high. About halfway up, the stem splits in two. From there up the two stems are covered with white kind of loosely trumpet sha... view the full question and answer