An Amazing Medicinal Plant Which Can Also Cause Death!

Lysichiton Americanus Plant

Lysichiton americanus is a plant also known as western skunk cabbage because it emits “skunky” odor. This amazing plant is also known by some other names, i.e. swamp lantern and yellow skunk cabbage.

It is found from Kodiak Island and Cook Inlet, Alaska south through British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California as far south as Santa Cruz County. Its isolated populations are also found in north-eastern Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

This plant is amazingly have big leaves of 50–135 cm length and 30–80 cm width with the flowers produced in a spadix contained within a large, bright yellow or yellowish green 30–40 cm tall spathe.

In addition to its big size, there are some more interesting facts associated with Lysichiton americanus plant.

It is considered as a medicinal plant for both the animals and humans. Its roots are eaten by bears after hibernating as a laxative. It was used by indigenous people as medicine for burns and injuries, and for food in times of famine. But its consumption in large quantities can results in death because it contains Calcium oxalate – a poisonous substance that can produce sores and numbing on ingestion and could even be fatal!!

Isn’t it an amazing creation of Mother Nature that Lysichiton americanus plant is Beautiful but Skunky, and having Medicinal benefits but can also cause Death?!

Author: Sonia Goyal
Photo Source: Wikimedia


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  3. Sameer Goyal   •  

    Nice post Sonia. It is true that Mother Nature has many amazing facts for us.

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