HORT travels

Exploring the horticultural beauty in every adventure.

Skunk Cabbage


Skunk Cabbage ‘flowers’

If you aren’t looking where you are going in the early spring muck, you may miss these wonders. As I was hiking this weekend, I admit, I stepped on one of these flowers camouflaged among the fallen leaves and reflective puddles of melting snow. To me, seeing these means spring is on its way. This year, they are blooming a little bit later than their typical February debut, but even these curiosities couldn’t get themselves out from underneath the thick blanket mother nature provided this winter. A little bit of snow is no challenge for these native perennials, in fact, like fancy ski resort walkways (so you don’t slip getting to the lodge for that refreshing beverage), they have their own internal snow melting system. Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) creates its own heat! Know who else does this, a process also known as thermogenesis? People, mammals. Yes, here we have a plant that creates its own heat, like we do. Well, not exactly like we do. But, this blog isn’t about plants that make their own warmth, it’s about plants that move and how they move. So why the skunk cabbage? Two reasons.

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