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Thread: Symplocarpus foetidus

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    I just got a Symplocarous foetidus, or Skunk Cabbage. A bizzare NA aroid which grows cabbage like leaves at the ends of long petioles in the summer but in the dead of winter feb/mar when the foliage is died and the plant is buried in snow it sends up these blooms (not my photo but hopefully next winter I will have this in person out on my patio):


    These blooms generate heat and melt the snow ontop of them!

    Anybody else growing one or have any experiences with them in the wild that they could share with me? Many pics show them growing in water at the edge of streams and ponds but others show them in the middle of deciduous forest. Should they be waterlogged i.e. grown like Sarracenia? Given an on again off again seasonal flooding? I have them in 10" pots of peat/charcoal/bark but it would be easy enough to set them in some sort of tray.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    fatboy's Avatar
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    I'm jealous Josh, that's a cool plant.
    The name doesn't do it justice, too bad it wouldn't do well here.

    Just had a quick google and found this page:

    Skunk Cabbage

    Cheers, Troy.

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    larry's Avatar
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    Does this guy produce offset tubers? If so, I'd be interested in trading for one [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Josh, you seem to like Aroids as much as I do! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    larry
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigflytrap/
    Save a tree, legalize cannabis.
    Be enlightened

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks Troy!

    Well Larry, I'm just a nut for weird plants, the weirder the better! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Aroids inflorescences can be weird, like the pulpits, titans, symplocarpus, etc. But I do like the shapes of many of the Alocasia leaf forms too (as long as they are out of the ordinary). I also like enormous stuff too. Like Alocasia robusta is my next goal, what I'll do when I have a plant making 12 foot x 8 foot leaves I have no idea but I know I just gotta have one! I guess I'll be buying a greenhouse sometime soon cos my house will be just stuffed by summers end if I keep up my rabid plant buying! I can't be satiated with books on the subject cos then I just need more of whatever I just read about! I think I need a shrink!

    Since I got two in the Ebay auction (I was only supposed to get one) I will try and cross pollinate the flowers this winter (hopefully) and get seed from them. According to the site Troy posted they don't propagate vegetatively. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    Troy (again) if I get seed I could send you some, perhaps the plants will go dormant despite the temps and you could just keep the rhizome (looks like an Alocasia rhizome) in a baggie in your freezer?

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    Wow Ive heard of the plant but Ive never seen it in flower.
    Me need now!
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    Peace

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    I went hiking today... and wandered into a large patch of these. They were right next to lake Chataqua, some within 6" of the edge of the lake, though some were also a ways away into the forest. A couple that appeared to be having trouble growing were right on a path up a hill. Beautiful plants. Most were in flower, and some were starting to send up leaves already.

    Swords - good luck pollinating them when they flower. They appear to have both male and female flowers, but the male flower I touched had so much pollen my finger came away yellow.

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    I went hiking last Sunday in the Holly State Recreation Area in Michigan and saw many of these plants in bloom. The were growing in a little mini delta where a stream spread out prior to entering a lake.

    Here in Michigan, skunk cabbage grows in low swampy areas that remain wet throughout the year. The kind of places where you can lose your shoes of you don't watch your step. Most of the plants I've seen in my life were in the woods in somewhat shaded conditions. I'm not sure if they like full sun. Maybe someone else knows the answer to this.

    Hope this helps.
    Glenn

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    I live in Wisconsin and there is a pond near my place where they grow along with cattails and other such swampy plants. They seem to like it wet most of the year.... I lived in Washington state for several years and again they grew in low wet depressions...quite abundantly....but they ones out in WA had yellow flowers and not the red ones seen in this picture.

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