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American Skunk-cabbage, Lysichiton americanus


Short description of Lysichiton americanus, American Skunk-cabbage

Yellow flowers are produced in spring, resembling those of wild arum (lords-and-ladies) but much larger. They emit a strong odour like that of skunk. The plant has a basal rosette of leathery leaves, up to about 1 m long, which increase markedly in size as the season progresses.

Description of Lysichiton americanus, American Skunk-cabbage status in GB

Skunk cabbage is planted for ornament beside ponds and swampy streams, and locally escapes into the wild.

Habitat summary: Lysichiton americanus, American Skunk-cabbage

Its normal habitat is wet woodland, where it grows on bare or partly-vegetated nutrient-rich mud, both acid and basic, with relatively few higher or lower plant associates.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Subarctic America, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Functional type: Land plant
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: v.c.17 (nr Haslemere)
Date of first record: 1947

Distribution map

GB Distribution from BSBI

Author's name:

Mark Hill (updated by Kevin Walker, Sept 2016)

Last updated:

October 3rd 2016

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark