Go Native—Grow Native

Submitted by Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society

Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus

As the winter solstice approaches, I am already anticipating the blooms of our earliest spring wildflower, skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. The buds of this winter-blooming wildflower begin to appear in our region as early as December and the flowers often start to bloom by New Year’s Day.

As one might imagine for a wildflower that manages to bloom and attract pollinators in the dead of winter, this plant has developed some remarkably interesting adaptations to the cold and even snow cover.

Like jack-in-the-pulpit, skunk cabbage is a member of the Arum family with an unusual flower structure of tiny flowers borne on a…[to-view-more]