Thursday, March 25, 2010

Skunk Cabbage

Spathes in two color patterns. Tiny flowers shielded. Extensive leafing begins as a rolled up spike.

When my brother and I were young and roamed about in the swamps beyond the back yard, every once in a while one of us would toss a rock through the leaves, just to raise a stink.


  1. You have no idea how envious I am over these skunk cabbages- after years of searching, i have come to the conclusion that we just do not have them around here. I guess we are just too far north or our soil is too acidic due to the high volume of pine vs. hardwood? I saw my first ones only about 3 years ago when I was down in Essex/Ipswich- I got so excited that I pulled over to the side of the road and jumped out with my camera- I can't tell you how many kind souls also stopped to see if I was "in trouble" and needed assistance. As my grandfather used to say "yes, there's a problem, but nothing a good psychiatrist can't fix!".
    I still continue my search for a local "cabbagedom" (Thoreau's word, not mine- I do love the sound of it!); they are just so cool!
    I really enjoyed seeing these photos today (we still have lots of patchy snow about- the lake is still frozen but our cove is open as of this past weekend. Already the Canadian geese have found it as well as 2 mergansers).

  2. Not until starting this blog was I aware of skunk cabbage's flowering nature--I knew it only as stinky leaves. I've looked around the lake without finding any, although I'm pretty sure I know some is about and I just haven't tripped over it yet.

    These photos come from my Mom's back yard, about four miles from the lake. As Mom's backup gardener, while dragging the snapped off pine branches from the lawn, I came upon dozens of spathes. It was my first look, having never noticed them as a kid. Aren't they simply amazing?

  3. John that photo of the flowers is just a little work of art in itself! I have never seen a skunk cabbage..!

  4. :-)

    Hoping for more photos tomorrow. I've no idea the timing on these early flowers.