About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Skunk Cabbage is one of the earliest plants to flower in the spring

Photos from Wikimedia Commons
Skunk cabbage is an early blooming wild flower with a skunky odor to attract flies and carrion beetles to enter and pollinate the flowers. It emerges from late February through May in mid-Michigan in woodlands, wetlands, or near streams.

Skunk cabbage has a remarkable ability to produce heat that allows it to emerge and bloom even when the ground is still frozen. During the winter when temperatures are freezing, the flower buds can warm up to 70 degrees, which melts the snow around the plant. Pollinated flower heads develop berry-like fruits containing seeds which germinate into new skunk cabbages next growing season.

Source: 
National Wildlife Federation  http://www.nwf.org/wildlife/wildlife-library/plants/skunk-cabbage.aspx

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