Spring Is Here and So Is the Skunk Cabbage

With Spring comes the resurgence of the trees and plants.  One of the first plants to show itself at the TREE Center is Skunk Cabbage which emerges this time of year from the wet, muddy soil that it thrives in.  It’s most known for it’s strong, distinct odor that some compare to skunks, rotting flesh, bad garlic and other not-so-pleasant comparisons.
Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

The strong, musty smell may smother a story that makes this plant very interesting…  In the same way that some plants use flowers to attract pollinators like bees, the skunk cabbage uses its foul odor to attract its main pollinators, scavenging flies. The find the odor of the skunk cabbage very appetizing.
Skunk Cabbage needs wet, muddy soil and thrives in bogs, along stream beds and other places where there is a continuous source of water.  So the next time you see a skunk cabbage take a closer look because there’s a lot more to this plant than may meet your nose.