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  Symplocarpus
From: "Deborah Begley" <dbegley at iol.ie> on 1999.03.24 at 13:47:45(3140)
Hi all,

Does anybody know where I might be able to get some seeds of Symplocarpus
foetidus or S. nipponicus from? I have just read an article about them by
Roy Lancaster in the March issue of the RHS 'The Garden' magazine, and of
course I now HAVE to grow it! Roy points out, "it is in the 'deletions'
list of The RHS Plant Finder 1998-99 but somewhere out there I am sure that
supplies of this curious perennial do exist, if only from an American
source."

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From: "Deborah Begley" <dbegley at iol.ie> on 1999.03.24 at 16:26:14(3142)
Hi all,

Does anybody know where I might be able to get some seeds of Symplocarpus
foetidus or S. nipponicus from? I have just read an article about them by
Roy Lancaster in the March issue of the RHS 'The Garden' magazine, and of
course I now HAVE to grow it! Roy points out, "it is in the 'deletions'
list of The RHS Plant Finder 1998-99 but somewhere out there I am sure that
supplies of this curious perennial do exist, if only from an American
source."

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From: Rand Nicholson <writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 1999.03.25 at 07:16:48(3144)
Hi Deborah:

>Does anybody know where I might be able to get some seeds of Symplocarpus
>foetidus

I have two S. foetidus in my garden that may be of an age to bloom this
year. If they do and set seed, I will gladly make some available to you, if
you are still in need of the seed at that time.

Here, in Maritime Canada, my friends and neighbours are quite bemused that
I chose to use two of these plants for "statement" plantings as the thing
is considered by most as an unhappy and unfortunate choice for an
ornamental garden. :) I, on the other hand, think that the Eastern Skunk
Cabbage is unique and has a beauty all its own. I understand your longing
for this plant and I appreciate it: we aroiders often march to a different
drummer, much to the chagrin and, sometimes, discomfort of those who know
us, especially during Amorphophallus blooming times. 8-o

>I have lots of seeds that I would be only to happy to ply you with if you
>can spare me a couple of this 'beauty(?)'!
>
>Best wishes
>
>Deborah (Co. Limerick, Ireland)

Kind Regards,

Rand

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From: IntarsiaCo at aol.com on 1999.03.25 at 07:29:34(3146)
In a message dated 3/24/99 4:35:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, dbegley@iol.ie
writes:

> Does anybody know where I might be able to get some seeds of Symplocarpus

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From: "Deborah Begley" <dbegley at iol.ie> on 1999.03.25 at 12:37:15(3148)
Many thanks Mark. I would really appreciate this. would you like me to send
my seed list? I have lots of different stuff on it and am only too willing
to shift some of it!

Best wishes

Deborah

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From: Scott Hyndman hyndman at aroid.org> on 2003.06.23 at 18:59:58(10349)
To all northern temperate zone aroiders,

I received the following request from Michael Gullvert of Sweden for
Symplocarpus foetidus seed. I used to know where to go to find skunk
cabbage in Indiana, but since I moved to Florida over twenty years ago
I have lost my easy access to those collection localities. If you can
help Michael out please feel free to contact him directly.

Thanks, Scott

Begin forwarded message:

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From: Rand Nicholson <writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 2004.04.15 at 10:54:18(11393)
Hi Aroiders:

It will be a while before I can construct a bog garden in my new location, so the question is: How _dry_ can one reliably grow Symplocarpus foetidus and still keep it healthy? Conversely, what are the ideal conditions for growing it in a garden?

Regards,

Rand Nicholson

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From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.04.15 at 21:30:33(11396)
Hi Rand

I can only speak from cultivation experience of two of the four species -
foetidus & renifolius.

I my experience both need deep, rich, clayey continuously moist soil with a
reasonable humus content (rotted leaf litter (beech or oak seems to work
best)) an more-or-less full sun; both disliked very heavy soils that
compact. Another thing they certainly dislike is stagnant water-logged soil
and it seems that in a bog garden there should be some throughflow of moving
water rather than it simply being a muddy hole!

Being plants of wet habitats they most certainly dislike drying out although
mature, established plants (the roots and stem go to 1 m or more deep) they
seem to recover OK, even from the condition of the leaves being completely
flaccid, provided that don't remain in that condition more than a few hours.

I've not seen S. foetidus in the wild, but the wild populations of S.
renifolius I've observed in S. Korea were growing along stream margins in
mixed oak/beech open woodland in the soil was definitely squishy!

Hope this helps some

Pete

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From: Steve Marak <samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2004.04.15 at 22:08:51(11397)
My biggest question re symplocarpus is "Where the heck can you find
them?". I've been trying to acquire them for years. Any of them. Does
anyone know of sources?

Steve

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From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.04.15 at 22:20:00(11398)
Well, it won't help my Stateside, but in the UK there are several hardy
plant nurseris that stock S. foetidus and seed is often offred by the Hardy
Plant Society.

Pete

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From: Brian Williams <pugturd at alltel.net> on 2004.04.15 at 22:38:03(11399)
Steve I have Symplocarpus foetidus available now bought a few this year to try out as well as the native skunk cabbage both are in one gallon pots and will be bare rooted. I also will have the true Calla which is also hardy here.

Peter I have never seen this form renifolius do you have pictures of this in leaf as well as flower. Also would it be hardy here as well in zone6? THANKS

From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.04.15 at 23:23:44(11400)
Hi Brian

I'm afraid I don't have pictures of S. renifolius that I can send (only some
slides and I don't posses a slide scanner). I grew it from seed that I got
from Moscow B.G. in the early 90's but left it behind when I left the UK. It
is a distinct species with kidney-shaped leaves. It should be perfectly
hardy in Zone 6 - where I saw it in Korea winter temperatures reach -20 C (-
4 F) and summers 35 C (95 F) so it's nothing if no tough!

For interest the symplocarpus species are:

Symplocarpus foetidus (L.)Salisb. (USA)
Symplocarpus nabekuraensis Otsuka & K.Inoue (N Japan)
Symplocarpus nipponicus Makino (Japan)
Symplocarpus renifolius Schott ex Tzvelev (widesperad through E Russia, N
China, and the Koreas)

Pete

From: Don Martinson <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2004.04.15 at 23:36:20(11401)
Hi Rand

I can only speak from cultivation experience of two of the four species -
foetidus & renifolius.
. Another thing they certainly dislike is stagnant water-logged soil
and it seems that in a bog garden there should be some throughflow of moving
water rather than it simply being a muddy hole!
Here in Wisconsin, they often grow in wooded swampy areas with no
actual running stream nearby.

--
Don Martinson

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From: "Petra Schmidt" <petra at plantdelights.com> on 2004.04.16 at 09:44:21(11402)
I've seen it growing like weeds along a creek near my home town in
Wisconsin, Rand...the creek floods each spring but is otherwise narrow and
shallow; the land has been owned for years by a gun club so plants are
pretty much safe and have been growing nicely over the years. There's also
a huge old colony over near Muckwanago (private land as well) growing along
the boggy shores of a lake there. You can't quite canoe into the colony and
walking in the muck is impossible...I'll bet there's dinasoar bones in the
depths of those skunk cabbage roots!
In Minnesota, I've seen them growing in wooded low swampy areas as well; the
S. nipponicum is also hardy there.
Petra

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From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.04.16 at 15:21:40(11403)
But is the water fresh? Where does the water to make the woodland swampy
originate? If it's welling ground water (most likely if the land is not
undulating or at the bottom of hills, etc.) of if it's seepage/run off (most
likely if it is undulating land or at the base of higher land) then it's
going to be moving water and fresh.

Pete

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From: "Susan Cooper" <coops at execpc.com> on 2004.04.17 at 06:12:14(11404)
Well, much excitement on our walk this morning. We walked by a ravine
and I had Harry hold the dog while I climbed down to look at a plant-
Symplocarpus foetidus. Very exciting! There were a few in bloom,
although most were past their prime. The best bloom I saw was directly
in a small stream of water.
This is the first time I've seen one in "the wild", although I've lived
in this area all my life. I think the stuff we called "skunk cabbage"
as kids wasn't Symplocarpus, it had leaves more like a rhubarb.
yours with wet tennis shoes,
Susan

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From: Rand Nicholson <writserv at nbnet.nb.ca> on 2004.04.17 at 07:04:19(11406)
Thanks to Peter, Petra, Don and all who replied to my question on growing Skunk Cabbage.

Most observations pretty much match mine, here in Eastern Canada, where Symplocarpus foetidus grows natively. The driest I have personally seen skunk cabbage growing and thriving was, perhaps, three feet above the summer water level of a riparian intervale on the Saint John River in New Brunswick, Canada and this subject to inundation by spring freshets each year. S. foetidus is not nearly as abundant as it used to be in this area, with the draining of wetlands, swamps and fens, but, with some effort, it still may be observed in the wild, though I have not had the opportunity to see it for years.

As a child I was struck by this plant that would burn its way through solid ice in late winter and early spring to form its "faerie hooseys", which were warm to the touch and usually inhabited by a bug or beetle or so and, very occasionally, a tiny green peeper when they were not to be found elsewhere. These little melt circles, sometimes numbering in the hundreds alongside a slough or pond, certainly did seem to be magical places in the eyes of myself and my young friends. But then, we had help ...

The Old Folks had it that these tenants "slept" the winter at the roots of the skunk cabbage and "woke up" when the plant thawed the ground around it and bloomed. Of course, the custodian faeries stoked little fires to keep the plant warm and husbanded the accompanying creatures on their wee farms. These particular faeries, in these special places, made the magic of "quiet hearing", fashioned and spun from the fabric of breezes caught in the doors of their houses - a lesson for children - If you stood very still, you could hear all the small, wild noises made by every living thing separately and distinctively from each other. Then you would know their names, which was very important: the wind carried names, yours as well, near and far. We had to be careful where we walked and try not to damage any of the plants or the faeries could bring us bad luck. And, we would not want the wind to speak ill of us.

This made certain sense to me then and I may still believe some of it today. I wonder: Are there any scientific observations on microclimates created by Symplocarpus that compare with the Old Folks' lore? Aside from the increasingly homeless faeries, of course.

Rand

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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.04.17 at 17:06:08(11408)
Reply-To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
Subject: [aroid-l] Symplocarpus
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 11:04:19 -0300
Dear Rand,
What a wonderful story! Do you write professionally? I can not tell you
how much I enjoyed this oh-too-short tale! Do you know from where the
words you were taught by the old ones are derived? Would 'hoosey' be a
sort of tiny house?? From the Scotts??
Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Sincerely,

Julius Boos

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From: "G. D. M." <doji at interpac.net> on 2004.04.18 at 12:50:45(11410)
I could not agree more with Julius. More descriptions of this sort would be
most welcome.

Thank you, Gary

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From: "Alan Galloway" <alan_galloway at bellsouth.net> on 2004.04.24 at 17:04:58(11431)
> My biggest question re symplocarpus is "Where the heck can you find
> them?". I've been trying to acquire them for years. Any of them. Does
> anyone know of sources?
>
> Steve
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