Explore Plants

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
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Wild cranberries in Pennsylvania
September 27, 2013 - Where are wild cranberries located in northwest PA, near Brookville?
view the full question and answer

Yellow lupine-like flowers
May 10, 2009 - I recently visited Hodges Gardens near Many, LA. There was a large plant, 2' tall with spikey yellow lupine-like flowers. Plant had hairy leaves and a big spread--I'm sure it is a wild perennial. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 09, 2009 - We have red pointed things growing wild in our yard. About the size of an index finger. They just pop up after a rain. Are they poisonous? We have pets.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 16, 2011 - I have a photo of a shrubby plant with large spines. Is there a way for me to attach it? I'm having trouble identifying it. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Identification of volunteer tree
April 28, 2011 - I have a volunteer tree in my yard that has a mixture of serrated, non-serrated, and partially-serrated leaves on it. My tree identification guides all assume either serrated or non-serrated. How do...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.