Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 15, 2006

From: Woodbridge, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am very curious about a bulb growing wild plant in our back yard. We have recently moved to the Woodbridge, VA area. There is a stream running trough our property. The plant looks almost like large cabbage leaves. It has a terrible smell to this plant. I was wondering if you could tell me if you know what this could be or where to look to find out. I don't know if maybe they may have flowers. I have never seen anything like this because I grew up in the south. Thank you if you can respond.

ANSWER:

I think what you have in your back yard is Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). Be sure to select "Images" from the menu at the top of the Skunk cabbage page to see more photos. You can also find more information and pictures from the Wisconsin Botanical Information System and the Connecticut Botanical Society.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
November 20, 2011 - Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying...
view the full question and answer

Non-native eleagnus from Jesup GA
January 17, 2014 - An elderly farmer has told me about a plant called Alley Agnes, but I can't find any plant by this name anywhere. He doesn't know another name for it, says it's what everyone has always called it i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014 - Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of bamboo-like plant in California
January 10, 2014 - We just bought a house in Cambria, CA. The plant I'd like to ID grows like bamboo -- spreading fibrous stalks abt 6' high with beautiful orange blossoms that protrude out the top of the stalk. The...
view the full question and answer

What is the weed of Cortez from Shreveport, LA
November 13, 2009 - I am trying to locate the weed of Cortez. I live in northern Louisiana. Can you please let me know if you have ever heard of this? I was told that is a very rare large red flower that blooms in the sp...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.