- n Symplocarpus one species: skunk cabbage
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n symplocarpus A genus of plants, of the order Araceæ, type of the subtribe Symplocarpeæ; the skunk-cabbage. It is characterized by a globose, arching, and hooded persistent spathe containing fertile bisexual flowers crowded on a nearly globular spadix, each with four perianth-segments, four stamens, and a thick four-angled style crowning an ovary with a single cell and ovule or with a second empty cell. The only species, S. fœtidus, is a native of America, northeastern Asia, and Japan, common in bogs and moist places in the eastern or central United States from Iowa to North Carolina and in Nova Scotia. It is a robust herb with a thick descending rootstock, producing a crown of large ovate and heart-shaped coriaceous leaves. The streaked or mottled spathe rises a few inches above the ground, and incloses a comparatively small brownish spongy spadix, which ripens into a globose syncarp of berries, each with a single large rounded seed filled with a solid fleshy embryo. From the very large broad leaves, and from its odor when bruised, the plant is known as skunk-cabbage (which see, under cabbage). See also dracontium, 2.