elephant ears

Asked May 5, 2015, 8:40 AM EDT

What do i do about the massive infestation that has occurred in my yard this year other than kill it with Roundup? Or should I kill it with roundup? Please advise. I live along a stream and I can see that is where the invasion started.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

We doubt that you are seeing elephant ears, since that is a tender bulb that cannot survive outside in winter.

We suspect that your plants are skunk cabbage. Skunk cabbage is a native plant that naturally grows along Maryland streams. It is beneficial because it blooms early when there are few flowers available to our native pollinating insects. We recommend that you enjoy it as a natural ground cover. You don't need to get rid of it.

If you did want to get rid of it, you'll have to figure out something to replace it and there aren't many options of plants that are appropriate by streams. Also, there are no herbicides labeled for skunk cabbage. You can't use regular Round-Up because it kills aquatic creatures of all types and can't be used near waterways.