Full disclosure: This post is from the April 2016 archives - have you gone through any of the archives, there's some great stuff there and it's really cool looking back and comparing the years! But at any rate, we're on the verge of spring wildflower season and going through my archives I've found there's quite a few flowers I need to highlight and add to the flower profiles, so while I put all those goodies together, let's learn and re-cap from springs past!
Flower Spotlight: Skunk Cabbage
This unique plant is one of the most interesting plants I've been able to find this season.
Beginning in late winter, the skunk cabbage is the first life to emerge from the cold snow covered ground. Through its rapid growth, its cellular respiration actually melts the snow around it reaching up to 60 degrees fahrenheit! The skunk cabbage gets its name from the smell emitted from the spathe (reddish brown thing: photo 1) generally after disruption or bruising. This smell is important as it attracts the flies that will then pollinate the spadix (round yellow ball that sits inside the spathe: photo 1). By late spring, a tight roll of bright green leaves emerge from next to the spathe, slowly unraveling into huge green cabbage-like leaves that will blanket the wet and wooded area in which it lies.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.