En EspaŅol

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
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

Wednesday - May 02, 2012

From: Amsterdam, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Skunk cabbage from Amsterdam NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Will skunk cabbage grow under a mobile home and cause odor?

ANSWER:

We found a Mr. Smarty Plants previous answer on Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk cabbage). Follow the plant link to the webpage in our Native Plant Database to learn more about it. In answer to your question, since this plant likes shade and moist soil, it would most certainly grow well under a trailer. If there are plants in the area that could spread under there, they probably would. Note from the webpage:

"Its strong fetid odor, especially when the plant is bruised, resembles decaying flesh and lures insects that pollinate it."

The insects that pollinate it are flies, and I'm sure you don't want to attract flies to your area. From the various sources, you will understand that digging it out to remove it is difficult to impossible, and you will release that odor as you try it. The best way to prevent it from moving under the trailer is to prevent any plants in the area from seeding. If you don't already have plants in the area, you likely won't get any under the trailer, as it requires a "peaty" soil, which you may not have.

 

From the Image Gallery


Skunk cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Need to identify hemp-like plant in Bastrop, TX.
June 09, 2014 - What is the large stalky, hemp-like plant that populates our creek bottoms and ditches here in Central Texas? It has large 5-6 in. lobed leaves, and a fibrous central stalk that gets up to 7 ft tall. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Error on message from Rogue River OR
July 25, 2011 - Previous message regarding sweet peas and how to get them growing was submitted with wrong state - It went out Rouge River, Rhode Island -- Should have been Rouge River, Oregon
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native daylilies from Albuquerque
May 05, 2013 - Need some tips on planting daylilies in the Northeast heights of Albuquerque. I've amended clay soil with cottonbur mulch/compost mix and added gypsum. Can I do anything else to ensure growing succes...
view the full question and answer

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center