SALUTE SKUNK CABBAGE

The February EcoQuest Challenge is SALUTE SKUNK CABBAGE


The remarkable Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is native to the northeast, occurring in swamps and wet woods. A member of the Arum family, most of the plant is underground, anchored by active, contracting roots that pull the buried stem downward. The flower clusters are thermogenic, producing enough heat to melt snow and enable the plant to bloom in winter.

See the link here for more information on these remarkable plants. Visit the iNaturalist project page to see observations and stats.

Posted by danielatha danielatha, February 06, 2021 21:05

Comments

Thumb

How do we find skunk cabbage? Are there any within New York City? What is the best way for us to discover them, if they are underground?

Posted by papertigerlily 4 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Hi @papertigerlily,

Good questions. Skunk Cabbage are not super common in NYC, but there are quite a few populations around. They grow in low, wet areas, usually in shady woods with rich soil. Explore this map here to find some near you. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=674&taxon_id=48961.

@blkvulture just found some flower shoots in Central Park. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/69695035

It's true most of the plant is underground, but during the winter they send up their flower shoots (seen in the photo above). These are followed by the leaves which are large and oval shaped and form cabbage-like clusters. They start leafing out about the same time the trees do. Maybe you will find some melting through the snow.

Let me know if you find any or need any more hints.

Posted by danielatha 4 months ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments