Tackling invasive skunk cabbage
Species that with human help are spreading outside their natural range are called 'invasive'. Such species are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide.
Skunk cabbage (Skunkkala in Norwegian) is a beautiful yellow plant that lights up in the spring and is blooming right now. It is found in some gardens around Bergen, and likes very humid areas. However, the challenge is that skunk cabbage also loves to grow outside gardens, and spreads easily with both birds and water. In Sweden and south in Europe the species has spread dramatically, in places dominating watercourses and outcompeting other species.
In the Bergen area, skunk cabbage has escaped into the wild at Kloppedaltjernet and at Gymmeland, below Bontveit. Therefore, staff of the Botanical Garden together with the State Administrator were out digging up the plants they found in these areas. If you know of other places skunk cabbage has escaped, you are welcome to let us know (Hagekurs@uib.no).
If you have this species in your garden, you should remove it and dispose in the normal waste (not compost). Although it is beautiful, king cup (Caltha pallustris), for example, is also yellow and beautiful in the spring.
Everyone must contribute to take care of our biodiversity!