While I was walking near the lower lake, I was suddenly attracted by a strong scent. It was Lysichiton americanus, commonly named yellow skunk cabbage. This rhizomatous herbaceous perennial, from the Arum family – Arialaceae –  is native from America. Despite its unpleasant  smell, it is a beautiful plant which can bring a good ornamental value for ponds, lakes and wet grounds. “Swamp lantern” is another name ; indeed, in spring a big yellow flower is coming out of the ground, like a flame. Its leaves can reach about a metre in length. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 2013.



Words and photographs by Martin

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