Lost Lake State Natural Area
Flower: Burgundy/purple hood-like spathe
Leaves: Basal, ovate, tightly clustered
This species is known for its fowl smell. Leaves are large, round, and cabbage-like, and the stems are underground. Flowers are dark purple and consist of a spathe and spadix
This was a very fun find at Sapsucker Woods. I had never seen this species of early spring wildflower before. It has the unique ability to create its own heat in order to melt the snow around it. It also smells like rotten meat in order to attract pollinators (the scientific name, Symplocarpus foetidus, contains the word "fetid").
Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Clumpfoot Cabbage, Foetid Pothos, Meadow Cabbage, Polecat Weed, Skunk Cabbage, or Swamp Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), commonly known as simply Skunk Cabbage, is a low growing, foul smelling plant that prefers wetlands. Native to eastern North America, it ranges from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. It is protected as endangered in Tennessee.