3. Lysichiton Schott, Oesterreichisches Botanisches Wochenblatt. 7: 62. 1857 (as Lysichitum).
Skunk-cabbage [Greek lysis, dissolve, and chiton, a tunic, referring to the spathe, which withers soon after flowering]
Herbs, wetland. Rhizomes vertical. Leaves appearing at or soon after flowering, several, clustered, erect; petiole short; blade shiny medium green, simple, not peltate, elliptic to oblong-ovate or oblanceolate, base cuneate to subtruncate; apex obtuse to acute; primary veins pinnate. Inflorescences: peduncle absent; spathe bright yellow [white], boat-shaped, open fully at maturity, not enclosing spadix; spadix nearly cylindric. Flowers bisexual; perianth present. Fruits embedded in white pulpy axis of spadix, green. Seeds 2(--4), mucilage probably present. x = 14.
Species 2 (1 in the flora): ne Asia and nw North America.
Prior to recognition of the North American Lysichiton as a distinct species, the genus contained a single taxon, L. camtschatcensis. This name (in several spelling variations) was previously applied to both Asian and American Lysichiton and is now the valid name for Asian populations. Asian and American plants differ primarily in spathe color, with L. camtschatcensis having white spathes and L. americanus, with yellow spathes.
Barabé, D. and M. Labrecque. 1984. Vascularisation de la fleur de Lysichitum camtschatcense (Araceae). Canad. J. Bot. 62: 1971--1983. Hultén, E. and H. St. John. 1931. The American species of Lysichitum. Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 25: 453--464. Pellmyr, O. and J. M. Patt. 1986. Function of olfactory and visual stimuli in pollination of Lysichiton americanum (Araceae) by a staphylinid beetle. Madroño 33: 47--54.