This photograph was taken in mid-May this past year, when the late afternoon light was setting the leaves aglow. Unlike its North American cousin, white skunk cabbage or Asian skunk cabbage (or, perhaps white swamp lantern) is not consistently malodourous; some plants have even been reported as sweet-smelling. The cluster of plants in the David C. Lam Asian Garden have little scent compared to the other species that can be found in the BC Rainforest Garden. Despite this, they still manage to attract fly pollinators (myophily). If the fly in this photograph looks a bit fuzzy and distorted to you, it is actually perched on the opposite side of the leaf and only its shadow is evident.
Like Lysichiton americanus, Lysichiton camtschatcensis prefers wet habitats along streams, ponds, or high water-table soils. As well, it also grows in extensive colonies. This species is native to northern Japan and northeastern Russia.
For gardening information and additional photographs, see Missouri Botanical Garden’s factsheet on Lysichiton camtschatcensis.