Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Skunk Cabbage

Not all wildflowers are beautiful and sweetly fragrant.
One of the earliest wildflowers is the skunk cabbage.

Skunk cabbage grows in swampy areas.
This patch was popping up in an area swept clean by last week's flooding.

This is a skunk cabbage bloom.
Not a very pretty flower.

The reason it is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers is its ability to give off heat.
Enough in fact, to melt any snow near the plant.
 Inside the bloom it can be a toasty 70°.

As you might have guessed from its name,
the plant also stinks.
Once the flower wilts, the leaves will begin to grow,
some reaching 3 to 4 feet high.

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