Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus
This low plant has a mottled, green to purplish-brown, 3-6" shell-like spathe, or sheath that encloses the rounded 1" spadix. The surface of the spadix displays a mosaic of thickened, unrecognizable sepals and styles. The flowers appear as early as February and only later do leaves emerge, unroll and become very large, up to 2' long and 1' wide. The leaves have a fetid odor if crushed. Blooms February-April in swamps, wet lowland woods.