Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area
SNA #342, Dunn Co., WI
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) photo = Skunk-cabbage_MAC_©DaveSpier_D056586iN
Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) photo = Skunk-cabbage_MAC_©DaveSpier_D028388iN
This, um, fragrant member of the Arum family blooms in early spring in swampy wooded areas. It generates its own heat, enabling it to sprout even thru snow and attracting the flies that pollinate it (by volatilizing those yummy odorants and by making itself visible to their infrared photodetectors).
The fields to the east are being developed, so all of this sediment washed down into the swamp during a big rain on Saturday.
growing directly out of the ground. I didn't realize that it was actually alive until I picked it up.
The inside is a very spongy mass with about 6 approx. 1cm, somewhat spherical seeds.
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.