Skunk Cabbage or Swamp Lantern
Quinault - tsule´los, “digging the roots”
Quileute - t’o´qwa, “it smells”
Family: Arum (Araceae)
Botanical Description: Odiferous perennial, height to 150 cm. Large elliptical to lance-shaped leaves, net-veined, thin, tapering to short stout stalks up to 1.5 m long by .5 m wide. Numerous green-yellow flowers on thick fleshy spike, hooded by large bright-yellow bract. Prefers low to medium elevations, wet meadows, forests, swamps & seepage areas.
Ethnographic Information: Cooked roots & lower stalk eaten by many tribes. Skokomish steamed the young leaves for eating. Steamed or roasted in times of spring famine. Leaves used for wrapping, drying salal & elder berries. Leaves used to line baskets berry-drying racks & steam pits. Leaves, roots, blossoms used in various medicinal preparation.