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Eastern Skunk Cabbage

Symplocarpus foetidus


Flowers of the Eastern Skunk Cabbage still in bloom after a couple of nights with temperatures between -11 and -6 degrees Celsius (12 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.) These flowers were 10-15 cm tall. The flower is most of what is visible in the photos, although some of the leaves are beginning to emerge at the bases and soon will grow to large size.


Wet bottomlands, usually in open forest areas.


This plant is notable for the ability of its flowers to generate heat through chemical processes. This enables the blooms to emerge from spring snowfalls and may help attract pollinators by dispersing its smell and providing a warm place for newly emerged insects in cold weather.

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Doren B
Spotted by
Doren B

West Virginia, USA

Spotted on Mar 29, 2015
Submitted on Mar 31, 2015

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