learn more about the skunk cabbage
In the spring and summer, smelly eastern skunk cabbage grows around the creek at the bottom of the hill. It is one of the first freshwater wetland plants to bloom in early spring. Its strong smell attracts flies and beetles as pollinators but prevents hungry deer and other animals from munching on it. Skunk cabbage has a unique ability to produce heat, which allows it to grow and bloom even when the ground is frozen. The heat can reach up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, melting snow and thawing the ground around the plant.
An early bloom of skunk cabbage, one of the most tell tale signs that spring is near! (Courtesy of Maryland DNR)
The broad, green leaves of the skunk cabbage plant (NOAA).
Skunk cabbage in a freshwater wetland (NOAA).