Skunk Cabbage Planting

Several volunteers and University students teamed up with Beau Larkin to transplant 100 skunk cabbage plants.  

We found a large western skunk cabbage patch near Polson, MT. The property owner allowed us to dig some up and transplant it to MPG North.

Three volunteers from the University of Montana Restoration Program joined us. We harvested small and medium-sized plants so we could dig up all their roots. The biggest plants probably wouldn’t survive transplanting.

We arrived at MPG North with about 100 skunk cabbage plants, and more volunteers joined us to plant them.

We planted the skunk cabbage in three aquatic areas. If areas 1 and 2 remain wet enough for the plants to establish, their seeds will trickle down towards Home Pond, where we hope they will germinate.

Some plants may die due to the shock of transplanting. We planted 2-5 in each hole to increase the chances that some live. Skunk cabbage propagates with rhizomes, and more root material in each hole might make rhizome production happen faster.

I planted one skunk cabbage near Entrance Marsh in 2013 (above). It is still alive and looks healthy, but it hasn’t grown much larger. Possibly these plants take some time to grow extensive roots.

The University students will return several times over the summer to check on the plants, count how many live, and measure how much they grow.