When the skunk cabbage pushes up through the melting snow, it’s a curious-looking plant, even a little sinister in my view.
The new plants remind me of Little Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. I almost expect them to start talking. “Feed me, Seymour!”
Skunk cabbage does have an odor, and most animals won’t eat it. The exception is bears, who will eat the “spathes,” the emerging blossom pictured above. The smell of the skunk cabbage attracts pollinators who like the odor of rotting meat.
Skunk cabbage has the ability to produce heat, sometimes up to 70′ F, which explains how it is one of the first plants to push up through the snow. Skunk cabbage flowers before it produces leaves. A single plants can live for 20 years.
Native Americans used skunk cabbage to treat coughs and headaches. It is actually available as an extract online!
Check out this site below for more information.
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