skunk cabbage


Definition of skunk cabbage

: any of several early-blooming perennial herbs of the arum family that occur in shaded, wet to swampy areas and have a fetid odor suggestive of a skunk:
a : one (Symplocarpus foetidus) of eastern North America and eastern Asia that has a hoodlike, brownish-purple spathe
b : one (Lysichiton americanus synonym L. americanum) chiefly of the Pacific coast region of North America that has a large yellow spathe
c : one (Lysichiton camtschatcensis synonym L. camtschatcense) of eastern Asia that has a large white spathe

Illustration of skunk cabbage

Illustration of skunk cabbage

skunk cabbage b

Examples of skunk cabbage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But also hickory, chestnut, elms and birches, and joe-pye weed, aster, marsh marigold, skunk cabbage, snakeweed. Matthew Cicanese And Erika Reiter, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet the Ecologist Who Wants You to Unleash the Wild on Your Backyard," 10 Apr. 2020 Calabrese highlights the pungent skunk cabbage, a plant that produces its own heat in an effort to attract early pollinators. cleveland, "Cleveland Metroparks remain open as signs of spring welcome visitors," 27 Mar. 2020 Even the skunk cabbage, Druse says, has its allure. Washington Post, "Gardens have largely lost their fragrance. Here’s how we can bring it back.," 4 Dec. 2019 Heather Phillipson’s video installation, placed in a room with a moist and mulchy floor and walls lit up with a sickly pink glow, introduces the visitor to a talking skunk cabbage. J.w.s.w. | Berlin, The Economist, "The variegated symbolism of gardens in art," 1 Aug. 2019 Also in attendance: ferns, marsh marigold and copious amounts of a kind of skunk cabbage that looks like spinach that has received a lot of encouragement. New York Times, "Welcome to America’s Newest National Park. Don’t Mind the Power Plant.," 17 July 2019 In the spring, skunk cabbage was coming up, Jack-in-the-pulpit. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Q&A With Glenn Close: The Star of ‘The Wife’," 17 Aug. 2018 The stakes marking the pipeline path run alongside the creek — at one point partway down a steep bank over the water — and through wetland areas filled with skunk cabbage. Gregory S. Schneider, The Seattle Times, "Mother, daughter perch in trees to block Virginia pipeline," 22 Apr. 2018 The stakes marking the pipeline path run alongside the creek - at one point partway down a steep bank over the water - and through wetland areas filled with dark green skunk cabbage. The Washington Post,, "Perched on a platform high in a tree, a 61-year-old Virginia woman fights a gas pipeline," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skunk cabbage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of skunk cabbage

1751, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for skunk cabbage

Time Traveler

The first known use of skunk cabbage was in 1751

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Cite this Entry

“Skunk cabbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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skunk cabbage


English Language Learners Definition of skunk cabbage

: a North American plant that grows in wet, shady areas and that produces a strong odor

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