Plant DetailShow Menu

Symplocarpus foetidus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
sim-plo-KAR-pus FET-uh-dus
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Perennial herb; leaves large and heart-shaped; flowers small in a dark spadix surrounded by a purple-brown spathe, foul-smelling.

It can be typically found in bogs, swamps, wet meadows, and very wet woods.

Although this plant is considered poisonous, young, uncurled leaves and roots can be eaten.  Only collect leaves and roots from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides.  Collect the bright green unfurled leaves in the very early spring.  Soak young shoots and roots in warm water to remove dirt and debris  Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer.  These products can leave a residue.  Carefully handle leaves after collection.  Bruised leaves will give off an unpleasant smell.  The smell disappears after cooking.  Cook for 20 minutes, change the water at least twice and replace it with fresh, boiling salted water  Serve like greens.  Roots are very bitter and burning in their raw state.  Peel, cut into small pieces, roast in an oven for at least one hour and grind in a flour or coffee grinder until quite fine.  Add to bread dough or muffin batter.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#perennial#wildflowers#NC native#native garden#native wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#perennial#wildflowers#NC native#native garden#native wildflower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Symplocarpus
    Species:
    foetidus
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
  • Cultural Conditions:
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Fleshy purple to reddish-brown spathe wraps around a heavy round spadix. Tiny flowers grow on the spadix. Foul, skunk-like odor.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Large ovate to cordate (heart-shaped), ribbed leaves. Broad at the base. They are produced after flowering.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Burning and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals plus unknown toxins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems