Flower spadix in purple-brown hood.
Flower appears before leaves. Through a chemical process, flower can heat itself to about 15 degrees Celcius. This allows it to 'burn' its way through snow cover.
Sometimes called first flower of spring.
Leaves exude foetid odour when crushed.
POISONOUS PARTS: All parts except uncurled leaves and roots. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include burning and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Toxic Principle: Calcium oxalate crystals and possibly others.
EDIBLE PARTS: Young, uncurled leaves and roots. Collect the bright green, unfurled leaves in the very early spring.
FOOD PREPARATION: Soak young shoots and roots in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. Carefully handle leaves after collecting. Bruised leaves will give off an unpleasant smell. The smell disappears after cooking. Cook for 20 minutes, change the water at least twice and replace with fresh, boiling salted water. Serve like greens. Roots are very bitter and burning in their raw state. Peel, cut into small pieces, roast in an oven for at least one hour and grind in a flour or coffee grinder until quite fine. Add to bread dough or muffin batter. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
CanPlant assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the database. While most entries are accurate, errors may occur. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any errors in the information or for any adverse effects relating to the use of the plants or the information. If you notice a problem with the information, please let us know by sending an email so we can correct it.