Contact Us Host an Event 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

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 Invasive Plants Questions

How to Get Rid of Spike Rush in Raised Beds in Galveston
March 16, 2011 - I have an infestation of spike rush in my raised beds and I want to know how to get rid of it, preferably without killing the insects. I have tried digging it up, but it returns. I live on Galveston B...
view the full question and answer

Skunk cabbage for Houston TX
September 19, 2009 - Can you find skunk cabbage in the Houston, Texas area?
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of wild petunia in Austin
June 15, 2008 - Is the wild petunia in the data base as invasive/aggressive as the more common ruellia? In other words, will it pop up everywhere? Ruellia nudiflora (Engelm. & Gray) Urban Common wild petunia, Vi...
view the full question and answer

Non-flowering mimosas in Texas
July 08, 2008 - I have two mimosa trees, about 3 years old. Both were grown from volunteer seedlings. Neither have flowers nor have they produced seed pods. Are they too young or do they need a source of pollenation...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

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