Skunk Cabbage at Clear Lake

Our family had a great trip to Cold Water Cove, a beautiful, quiet area around Clear Lake, the headwaters of the McKenzie River. We had driven from Central Oregon over the Cascade Mountains to get to this scenic getaway in the Willamette National Forest.

One fun discovery was skunk cabbage, which we found growing in swampy areas near Clear Lake, the “lake born of fire.” I don’t know if the volcanic rock sediment makes it grow so huge and odorous…there is a reason it’s called skunk cabbage. Don’t eat it. It won’t kill you, but you’ll be sorry.

Skunk Cabbage at Clear Lake

To give you some proportion, here are the kids with their cabbage leaves. Can you believe I let them take these home with us IN THE VAN as we traveled for several hours? What a migraine.

Kids with Cabbage Leaves.JPG

The leaves are now shriveled up on the front porch, but it was fun while it lasted!

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4 Responses to Skunk Cabbage at Clear Lake

  1. Fencepost says:

    Wow! Those are some big leaves!
    I’ve never heard of it. Maybe it doesn’t grow on the east coast.

  2. Heather says:

    Too awesome. We ahve skunk cabbage but nothing like that. :)

  3. Jen says:

    It was pretty cool, I’d never seen these before, but my husband, who grew up on the Oregon Coast, had seen them and let us know what this exotic looking plant was! I read that some old natives used to boil the roots in oil and use it for medicinal purposes, such as a treatment for ringworm. But ingesting skunk cabbage leaves will cause an intense burning in the mouth and tongue because of the very high levels of calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves.

  4. e-Mom says:

    Ah, the great Pacific Northwest! BTDT! Your kids are really getting an eye-and-earful. Wonderful… ღ

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