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 Natural foods such as acorns, skunk cabbage and grubs are abundant and bears’ reproductive success and the survivorship of cubs are both high. Jesse Leavenworth,, 25 Mar. 2022 The Fab Five feasted on plants gathered in season from the wild — skunk cabbage, saskatoon berries and dandelions — plus fish, moose and deer. New York Times, 23 July 2021 The sandy soil supports unique plants like skunk cabbage and cinnamon ferns. Susan Degrane,, 8 July 2021 But also hickory, chestnut, elms and birches, and joe-pye weed, aster, marsh marigold, skunk cabbage, snakeweed. Matthew Cicanese And Erika Reiter, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Apr. 2020 Calabrese highlights the pungent skunk cabbage, a plant that produces its own heat in an effort to attract early pollinators. cleveland, 27 Mar. 2020 Even the skunk cabbage, Druse says, has its allure. Washington Post, 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, 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, 17 July 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of skunk cabbage

1751, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of skunk cabbage was in 1751

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Dictionary Entries Near skunk cabbage


skunk cabbage

skunk currant

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Skunk cabbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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