Plant A Day – Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk Cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

The Skunk Cabbage flower is one of the most peculiar looking and therefore easy-to-identify flowers in the plant kingdom.  It pops out of the ground very early in the spring.  They can be a bit hard to find among the leaf litter, but when you do find them there are usually a bunch of them.  They generally grow in colonies in wet areas in woodlands.

Skunk Cabbage also has a few other peculiarities.  One is that they smell bad (how about that).  Rather than smelling pretty like most plants, they smell like, hmmm, skunk.  Tear off a leaf sometime and give it a whiff.

Another thing is that they are thermogenic.  This simply means that they create heat, like mammals do.  Sometimes you can find the flowers late in the winter with the snow melted around them.

All in all, Skunk Cabbage is one of the more interesting plants on this planet.

The flower actually blooms right out of the frozen ground

The flower actually blooms right out of the frozen ground

The flowers sprout first thing in the spring, then the leaves unfurl and last throughout the summer.

The flowers sprout first thing in the spring, then the leaves unfurl and last throughout the summer.

A most peculiar looking flower

A most peculiar looking flower

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Plant A Day and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s