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

Smarty Plants on Parkinsonia aculeata
June 11, 2005 - What is the name of the tall shrub I see growing wild around Austin that is delicate, with thin stems and branches, and lacy, with multiple leaves, and yellow flowers? It looks lovely growing in a ma...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover plant that tastes like cucumbers
December 18, 2011 - It is a native ground cover plant that is edible and tastes like cucumbers. Found in the Edwards Plateau. What is the name?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 09, 2011 - In North Central Texas recommended plants, there are three coneflowers listed: Echinacea angustifolia-Black sampson E. purpurea-Purple coneflower E. purpurea-Eastern purple coneflower Is the Eas...
view the full question and answer

Identification of an Australian tree.
November 29, 2007 - i have a tree i cant seem to find any info on, the tree has large almost heart shaped leaves with pinkish veins running through them, its not shiney anywhere, sort of a mat finish,the edges of the lea...
view the full question and answer

Visual difference between Strophostyles umbellata and S. helvola
September 06, 2012 - I know that Strophostyles umbellata is perennial and S. helvola is an annual, but can you tell me how to visibly distinquish between S. umbellata and S. helvola.
view the full question and answer

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