Skunk cabbage is the first

skunk cabbage 1 We first noticed the skunk cabbage emerging on February 16. Even though there had been a blizzard and there was snow everywhere else, this is a protected swampy spring-fed area, and the shoots were emerging up through the ooze, looking very primordial and eager to get on with it. This is their bloom, before they leaf out later in spring. From Wikipedia: “Eastern Skunk Cabbage has contractile roots which contract after growing into the earth. This pulls the stem of the plant deeper into the mud, so that the plant in effect grows downward, not upward. Each year, the plant grows deeper into the earth, so that older plants are practically impossible to dig up.” (I started this blog with photos from this location last March.)

Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

Skunk cabbage in muck

Skunk cabbage first appearance: Feb 16, 2013

Bonus picture: except for down in the swamp, the snow blanket prevails.

Ridge Hill in the Snow

3 thoughts on “Skunk cabbage is the first

  1. Oh the places you go! Primordial ooze. Looks like something that would eat off your toes if you stepped on it. And fancy growing your stem down deeper into the earth every year–indestructible! Brrrr. A movie should be made!

    • Plus I didn’t mention, it has that swamp-muck smell that makes you depressed when your dog comes home smelling that way. (And your dog is thinking, what a great smell!)

  2. It does look completely otherworldly and then to think it grows like that … Deep into the underworld … SPOOKY STUFF! (is there a shiver my timbers icon?).

    Anyways, thanks for this Axie … I look forward to the seasonal wonders to come.

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