Monday, June 8, 2015

Stinky Spring

It's difficult for me these days to keep up with blogs, especially during the spring season with so much to get done!  I wanted to make a fast post to show you what I finally captured before it withers.  Behold, the majestic Symplocarpus foetidus or Skunk Cabbage.

When I first moved in with Pat, I jogged religiously and I began to notice an odor near our creek bridge every spring.  At first, I thought it might have been a dead deer carcass that I couldn't quite find but after smelling it around the same time each spring I figured it had to be some sort of mold or fungus.  Pat figured it out last year when he noticed the goats would not eat a particularly green large leaved plant growing on the lowland.  Usually, for the goats, large leaf equals prized food but not this time.  Pat tried to offer it to them but when he plucked a leaf out and crushed it, he found it smelled like rotten meat.  Bingo.  Culprit found.  He did a little research and found that it actually has the ability to generate its own heat to melt snow in spring.  It also has a contractile root system which means it pulls the plant itself down into the earth further each year.  In essence, it grows down not up.

I went looking for the blossom this year and found it!  I am one of those weirdos who likes carnivorous plants and weird looking blooms.  The green and red striations are very striking to me.

But I have a secret to share:  I had a cold so the whole time I was photographing, I couldn't smell a thing.  Otherwise, I might not have been so into the idea of getting so close to this fetid rose!

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