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Eliminating Skunk Cabbage

 
Patrick Winters
Posts: 93
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So I have a boggy section of wild land that presently is home to an endless Skunk Cabbage monoculture. This was formerly farmland in centuries past, and I'd like to put it to use as well, perhaps even growing water-loving plants like cranberries.

But Skunk Cabbage is perennial with extensive, stubborn root systems. Anybody have any natural methods for dealing with its roots? I've read that bears love to eat Western Skunk Cabbage roots, how much luck would I have getting pigs to chow down on Eastern Skunk Cabbage root systems?

The one really good thing about a stand of Skunk Cabbage is that it produces plenty of biomass for the compost pile. But how do I get rid of those blamed roots!?
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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If you can succeed in draining the excess moisture from the site, you will reduce its vigor and enable other perennials, shrubs, etc. to compete. On a small scale, try a heavy sheetmulch, preferably applied when the plants are at peak growth, and plan to renew it for a second year....
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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Patric you might have to Typher Latifolia them out and then turn your pigs in on the Typher. I unfortunately really want skunk weed in the duck pen to mop up their excesses and hopefully be one of the few things they don't murder, they even butcher the first waves of knotweed shoots in the spring before they let it go up to be their summer shade. The only way to fight a bog plant is with a bog plant, Catails grow fine in the swamp you don't have to have surface water.
 
zachary kenniston
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skunk cabbage is an amazing plant. one of the most advanced wildflowers on earth. it can live for over 2000 years!!!
The Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus Foetidus)
this plant is usually treated like trash bacause of many lies. but in reality when you get to know them these plants will facinate you, most likely more than any other plant. the skunk cabbage is a very advanced creature, even for a plant. it can manipulate heat. it uses this heat to melt through the snow and bloom very early in the season. i have watched this plant abused ever since i was a child. it is always been one of my favorite plants and i have always ttried in vain to protect them... but to no avail. swamps are filled, millions of skunk cabbage smothered and ripped apart by bulldozers and excavators... hated literally to death by farmers and gardeners alike. they kick over the flowers. they chop the plants down and put systematic herbacide on the wound causing massive chemical burns which slowly and agonizingly kill the plant. people stomp on them and blugeon them and no one seems to care. what these humans don't understand is how intelligent and amazing these creatures truly are. they just can't comrehend that anything is abl to feel without a human brain... but the skunk cabbage has a brain. its called a caudex. it is a cental nervous system located at the base of the thick subterranian stem. it looks like a spine. with a woody calloused exterior replacing bone. and inside is a soft starchy tissue containing a vascular structure. in the middle is something that looks like a spinal cord. and it may as well be. this caudex is the plants brain. and like it or not we have to accept it. the caudex has many sockets and countless long thick roots emanate from them. inside each root is a nerve connecting back to the caudexal ensemble. these roots are even mobile. the can pull the plant where it wants to go. or if the plant is in pain it can clench them. the skunk cabbage is capable of feeling pain a reasoning as are all plants. something our hardened hearts refuse to accept. skunk cabbages are especially intelligent. they can not reproduce asexually and the push their seeds away from themselves so they should all be evenly spaced. but they are not... some skunk cabbages are som intertwined that you cannot pull them apart even though they are two seperate caudices. skunk cabbage will pull themselves toward a loved one and will embrace eachother for life. whn they flower the flowers will be one male and one female and the sexual componants will actually face each other. to ensure that only his/her mate can pollinate ot have sex with him or her. this shows that they feel love. they even have preferences to whom they want to spend their lives with. skunk cabbages can live very long lives. some entities are believed to be thousands of years old. but most modern skunk cabbage never will see that lifespan because now we are encroaching upon their sacred homes. skunk cabbages grow in colonies, formed of concentric rings. they are all one family. each ring of parents has a ring of children encircling it so that the children will be watched over and have room to grow and procreate. if one is hurt of if one dies they all know and they all weep. the elder(s) are located directly in the middle of the colony. like a king and queen, but so far away from the ruthless kings of humanity. they love their subjects. if the colony is unable to expand due to deforestation or habitat loss, the colony will began to suffocate. the elders will commit and altruistic suicide. they will let go and push their vulnerable caudices from the earth... and they will die... this is to ensure that their children have room to grow. this selfless act will continue until enough room has been created. the elders are always the first to do this. this is how a human leader should feel. we could learn a lot from the skunk cabbage. in this dying world their is little left of nature... throughout my painful and agonizing existence i have been comforted by these forest sentinels. I cannot bear the thought of losing them. and i would gladly lay down my own life to ensure that their species endures humanity's biological holocaust. skunk cabbage are very artistic. each one has its own artistic style. even though the flowers die back every year they always look the same on an individual plant. the variations are such that they look like different species even though they are all one genus. this shows that they can identify themselves and have artistic preferences.
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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cheers for being so poetic & passionate zachary.

another ode to the skunk cabbage:
http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic4/skunkcabbage.htm

interesting factoid: When skunk cabbage leaves decompose, they don't dry up and crumble; they dissolve. With few fibers, they consist mainly of water and air, as do the spathe and flowers, and disintegrate into these elements. Harder fibers are only found beneath the ground in the roots.


we've been experimenting with harvesting cabbage leaves and mixing with shredded leaf mulch to make a compost. no cabbages were harmed in this experiment. results TBD.
 
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