En Español

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

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

Pink wildflowers on DFW runways in April-June
October 10, 2013 - I fly thru DFW quite often and have noticed in April-June timeframe the runways are dotted with a light pink colored wildflower. Have asked the DFW Customer Service folks for the name, ones I've ask...
view the full question and answer

Finding a source of Straggler daisy
October 14, 2015 - I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
view the full question and answer

Appearance of Viola lanceolota after controlled burn
March 28, 2009 - Oh Great Green Guru, I just recently found Viola lanceolota (bog white violet) on a portion of Brazos Bend State Park’s prairie that was burned about 2 months ago to control for woody growth. (I wou...
view the full question and answer

Odor and flavor of oils in Mints as insect repellants
December 19, 2005 - I am trying to find information on "How does mint plants repel insects" It's for my grand daughter's science project. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center