This spectacular wildflower emerges from its winter hibernation before the snow is completely gone, appearing in wet and swampy areas in April and early May. Tight-packed green flower spikes are enclosed in a large, bright yellow bract. Pollinated by flies and beetles, which are attracted by the musky fragrance of the flowers. Club-shaped seed pods mature in late summer.
Foliage is strongly pungent when bruised, hence the common name. Massive, glossy, fleshy fleaves are 3 to 4 ft. tall.
Excellent for those with larger gardens, and adds early spring interest to the bog garden and pond edge. Prefers shade. A moisture lover, which demands wet feet to be happy. Fairly slow growing, but long-lived and maintenance free where happy. Baked, it supplemented the winter diets of the Native Americans. Zone 5-7.