Sunday, March 28, 2010

Harbinger of Spring

Amazing stuff, both because of the stink, but also because it generates enough heat to melt snow and ice. It's growing out behind my shop next to the creek.
Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Foetid Pothos, Polecat Weed, (Symplocarpus foetidus), commonly known as simply Skunk Cabbage, is a low growing, foul smelling plant.

Skunk cabbage is notable for its ability to generate temperatures of up to 15-35°C above air temperature in order to melt its way through frozen ground placing it among a small group of plants exhibiting thermogenisis. Although flowering whilst there is still snow and ice on the ground it is successfully pollinated by early insects that also emerge at this time. Wikkapedia

1 comment:

michael b said...

Considered edible, once cooked, but who'd want to try?