The first place we stopped on that sunny afternoon drive was a secret spot where we watch for Skunk Cabbage every spring. Described by some as the very first native wildflower to bloom here, it's a hollow purple spike emerging from the ground down in the swamp - often right through the ice or snow.
The wet ditch here is filled with skunk Cabbage spikes or spathes coming up. The tiny flowers are held on a small spadix that is hidden inside the spathe.
Skunk Cabbage leaves are bright green, as seen here, and mature to be enormous in size. They do have an odour, which gets them both their common and scientific (Symplocarpus foetidus
It's almost impossible to photograph the spadix, which holds the flowers, and which can only be seen inside a dark opening in the purple spathe.
Skunk Cabbage spreads by growing up along a rhizome which can be nearly a foot thick. With the energy stored in this rhizome, this is a thermogenic plant - it can generate temperatures above air temperature, and thereby melt its way through ice and snow to appear at the surface.
oh I wondered what those were, yeah they are a bit of a pest.ReplyDelete
The skunk cabbage is coming up here too.ReplyDelete
I'll have to look closer at it. I don't think I've ever seen the red, just the bright green leaves.
Wow more interesting information, thanks for the research.ReplyDelete
It's an interesting plant; black bears eat quite a bit of it in early spring. The odor attract insects which serve to pollinate the flowers.ReplyDelete
I knew about Skunk Cabbages but I didn't know all those about Skunk Cabbages.ReplyDelete
That is a cool plant!ReplyDelete
Our skunk cabbage looks very different: yellow instead of purple, but with the same odiferous message. :-)ReplyDelete
Good clear photos- we do that too, checking out the one area of skunk cabbage we've found in the past.ReplyDelete
Great plant for our southern regions. Love that deep purple.ReplyDelete
Interesting lesson about Skunk Cabbage.ReplyDelete
It is amazing what takes place around us that we don't understand.
Be Safe and Enjoy Spring!
It's about time.
To be honest, I've never even heard of Skunk Cabbage and don't recall ever seeing it before. How interesting! It is a neat looking plant. I'm assuming it grows quite tall then?ReplyDelete
I've seen it before. I just wasn't aware of the name.ReplyDelete
Well photographed. We have some in Virginia.ReplyDelete