Lysichiton americanus factsheet - Q-bank
Lysichiton americanus Hulten & H. St. John
Ecology: American Skunk-cabbage can grow in both shallow water or on very moist
soils such as stream sides in forests and wet woodlands; which are found to be
particularly suitable. It develops both in sunny and in shaded locations, but the
latter will result in fewer inflorescences developing. A large amount of seed is
produced that remains viable for at least six years.
Threat: Unlike most invasive plant species, American Skunk-cabbage can establish in
more or less undisturbed habitats such as swamp forests. Seeds can disperse
downstream and form dense populations displacing native plants. However, the
American Skunk-cabbage is a slow-growing plant and can subsequently be
Control: American Skunk-cabbage is easily eradicated by cutting off the plants below
ground level. Monitoring is necessary as there may be a seed bank.
Identification / similar species: American Skunk-cabbage is very similar to Asian
Skunk-cabbage. American Skunk-cabbage has a strong smelling, yellow
inflorescence and leaves that emit a foul odour when crushed. In contrast,
Asian Skunk-cabbage has a white, odourless inflorescence and the leaves have
no smell when crushed. Asian Skunk-cabbage is also planted along ponds, but
is not naturalized in the Netherlands.