Skunk Cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

Habitat: Wetlands and seeps

Form: Herb

Flower: Strange flower--the actual small yellow flowers are scattered over a spherical spadix inside a mottled red and tan spathe hood.

Family: Araceae

Foliage: The leaves are large, approximately a foot tall, and palmate, and have a rank odor when crushed.

Notes and uses: Skunk cabbages are able to generate heat to melt the snow around them when they first appear in the spring, as early as February in Michigan. This allows insect pollinators attracted by the odor and rotten-meat appearance of the hood to pollinate them while other plants are still dormant.


Skunk Cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

Great Lakes Boreal Flora

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