Image of Clumpfoot Cabbage
Creatures » » Plants » » Arum Family »

Clumpfoot Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus (L.) Salisb. ex W. P. C. Barton

Comments

provided by eFloras
Disagreement exists regarding correct author citation of the combination Symplocarpus foetidus. According to J. T. Kartesz and K. N. Gandhi (1992), concluded that the correct citation is S. foetidus (Linnaeus) Nuttall. The citation I have adopted is S. foetidus (Linnaeus) Salisbury ex W. Barton because Barton, in his 1817 publication, did not specifically attribute this combination to Nuttall; he did cite Salisbury in his first mention of the name S. foetidus.

Symplocarpus foetidus was included as occurring in Manitoba (H. J. Scoggan 1957) based on a misidentified specimen (B. Boivin 1967--1979, part 4). Although the species has been listed for Georgia (W. H. Duncan and J. T. Kartesz 1981), I have seen no specimens from that state. A specimen collected by S. B. Buckley labeled Hab. Florida is probably an error.

When bruised or broken, all parts of Symplocarpus foetidus give off an unpleasant odor. Various species of insects, including those from the orders Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera, many of which are attracted by the odor, have been collected from the inflorescences (W. W. Judd 1961), but the specific mechanism of pollination remains unknown. Although insects are likely pollen vectors, wind tunnel observa tions of the inflorescence suggest a capacity also for wind pollination (S. Camazine and K. J. Niklas 1984). Whatever the pollination mechanism, fertilization is limited, and few inflorescences develop into infructescences (J. A. Small 1959, personal observation).

Symplocarpus foetidus, in various forms and often combined with other plants, was used medicinally by Nnative Americans for a variety of ailments, including swellings, coughs, consumption, rheumatism, wounds, convulsions, cramps, hemorrhages, toothaches, and headaches (D. E. Moerman 1986). Skunk cabbage was officially listed as the drug "dracontium" in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1880 for treating diseases of respiratory organs, nervous disorders, rheumatism, and dropsy (A. Henkel 1907). Plants are sparingly cultivated as a curiosity in North American gardens and are reported to be highly prized in aquatic gardens in European estates and public parks (F. W. Case 1992).

license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Description

provided by eFloras
Roots fleshy, contractile. Rhizomes thick, to 30 cm or more. Leaves: petiole sheathed basally, 5--57 cm; blade thick, 10--60 ´ 7--40 cm; primary lateral veins parallel, branching apically, interprimary veins anastomosing. Inflorescences at ground level; spathe hoodlike, 6--13(--18) cm, fleshy, apex acuminate, twisted or incurved, not persisting in fruit; spadix short-stipitate, somewhat flattened dorsiventrally, 2--3 ´ 1.5--3 cm. Flowers covering spadix; tepals 4, yellowish to dark red-purple; stamens 4, dehiscing longitudinally; ovaries 1-locular; ovules 1. Infructescences dark purple-green to dark red-brown, globose to oblong or ovoid, 4--7(--10) cm. Seeds brown, 7--15 mm diam. 2n = 60.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Distribution

provided by eFloras
N.B., N.S., Ont., Que.; Conn., Del., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Flowering/Fruiting

provided by eFloras
Flowering late winter--spring.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Habitat

provided by eFloras
Swamps, wet woods, along streams, and other wet low areas; 0--1100m.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Synonym

provided by eFloras
Dracontium foetidum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 967. 1753; Spathyema foetida (Linnaeus) Rafinesque
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 22 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Contractile roots

provided by EOL authors

The eastern skunk cabbage has contractile roots, which grow downwards (expanding radially) and contract (longitudinally). When the plant germinates, its rootstock lies on the surface of the earth. Roots grow out of this stem-like structure and into the soil. They undergo regular cycles of growth and contraction, producing characteristic rings of wrinkles on the roots' surface.

The contractile roots pull the bulbous rootstock of the plant down into the earth as the plant grows, allowing the plant to more firmly anchor itself. An older skunk cabbage's leaf and flower stems may be invisible because they have been pulled underground.

Presumably, this adaptation permits the skunk cabbage to more firmly anchor itself in wetland soil.

References

  • http://ontariowildflowers.com/mondaygarden/article.php?id=158
  • http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic4/skunkcabbage.htm

license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Audrey E
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors

Symplocarpus foetidus

provided by wikipedia EN

Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage[2] or eastern skunk cabbage (also swamp cabbage, clumpfoot cabbage, or meadow cabbage, foetid pothos or polecat weed), is a low growing plant that grows in wetlands and moist hill slopes of eastern North America. Bruised leaves present a fragrance reminiscent of skunk.

Description

 src=
Symplocarpus foetidus leaves out in mid-spring after the flowers have bloomed.

Eastern skunk cabbage has leaves which are large, 40–55 cm (16–22 in) long and 30–40 cm (12–16 in) broad. It flowers early in the spring when only the flowers are visible above the mud. The stems remain buried below the surface of the soil with the leaves emerging later. The flowers are produced on a 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long spadix contained within a spathe, 10–15 cm (4–6 in) tall and mottled purple in colour. The rhizome is often 30 cm (0.98 ft) thick.

Distribution

The eastern skunk cabbage is native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. It is protected as endangered in Tennessee.[2]

Ecology

Breaking or tearing a leaf produces a pungent but harmless odor, the source of the plant's common name; it is also foul smelling when it blooms. The plant is not poisonous to the touch. The foul odor attracts its pollinators: scavenging flies, stoneflies, and bees. The odor in the leaves may also serve to discourage large animals from disturbing or damaging this plant, which grows in soft wetland soils.

Eastern skunk cabbage is notable for its ability to generate temperatures of up to 15–35 °C (27–63 °F) above air temperature by cyanide resistant cellular respiration in order to melt its way through frozen ground,[3] placing it among a small group of thermogenic plants. Even though it flowers while there is still snow and ice on the ground, it is successfully pollinated by early insects that also emerge at this time. Some studies suggest that beyond allowing the plant to grow in icy soil, the heat it produces may help to spread its odor in the air.[3] Carrion-feeding insects that are attracted by the scent may be doubly encouraged to enter the spathe because it is warmer than the surrounding air, fueling pollination.[4][5]

Eastern skunk cabbage has contractile roots which contract after growing into the earth. This pulls the stem of the plant deeper into the mud, so that the plant in effect grows downward, not upward. Each year, the plant grows deeper into the earth, so that older plants are practically impossible to dig up. They reproduce by hard, pea-sized seeds which fall in the mud and are carried away by animals or by floods.

Some blowflies, such as Calliphora vomitoria are known pollinators of skunk cabbage.

Uses

In the 19th century the U.S. Pharmacopoeia listed eastern skunk cabbage as the drug "dracontium". It was used in the treatment of respiratory diseases, nervous disorders, rheumatism, and dropsy. In North America and Europe, skunk cabbage is occasionally cultivated in water gardens.[6] Skunk cabbage was used extensively as a medicinal plant, seasoning, and magical talisman by various tribes of Native Americans.[7] The thoroughly dried young leaves are quite good reconstituted in soups or stews. The thoroughly dried rootstocks can be made into a pleasant cocoa-like flour.

Toxicity

Skunk cabbage often contains calcium oxalate crystals, and therefore the plant is considered to have medium toxicity to humans. The toxicity may be removed through careful preparation.[8]

Gallery

See also

  • Lysichiton americanus (western skunk cabbage): also known for producing a foul smell, and often confused with eastern skunk cabbage
  • Lysichiton camtschatcensis (Asian skunk cabbage): from north-east Asia, but not known for producing a foul smell

References

  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b USDA PLANTS Database: S. foetidus
  3. ^ a b Thorington, Katherine K. (April 1999). "Pollination and Fruiting Success in the Eastern Skunk Cabbage". The Journal of Biospheric Science. 1 (1).
  4. ^ Marinelli, Janet (2007). "Backyard Habitat: Turning Up the Heat on Your Property". National Wildlife Magazine. Vol. 45 no. 1 Dec/Jan. p. 14. Archived from the original on February 9, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  5. ^ Rice, Graham (2012). "The flowering of Symplocarpus". The Plantsman. No. March. pp. 54–57. Archived from the original on 20 April 2015.
  6. ^ Flora of North America: S. foetidus
  7. ^ Dr. Moerman's Native American Ethnobotanical Database: S. foetidus
  8. ^ Symplocarpus foetidus

 title=
license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN

Symplocarpus foetidus: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage or eastern skunk cabbage (also swamp cabbage, clumpfoot cabbage, or meadow cabbage, foetid pothos or polecat weed), is a low growing plant that grows in wetlands and moist hill slopes of eastern North America. Bruised leaves present a fragrance reminiscent of skunk.

license
cc-by-sa-3.0
copyright
Wikipedia authors and editors
original
visit source
partner site
wikipedia EN