Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Friday, April 02, 2010

Skunk cabbage

Such a pretty bloom to have a not so nice name.

The plant is called Skunk Cabbage because of the malodorous, distinctive "skunky" odor that it emits. This odor will permeate the area where the plant grows, and can be detected even in old, dried specimens. It may have been because it was a rainy day or the fact that I was up wind, that I did not detect a "skunky" odor from this plant.
The foul odor attracts its pollinators, scavenging flies and beetles. Other common names include Yellow Skunk Cabbage and Swamp Lantern.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely and unusual looking plant. It resembles the Cala Lily, except for the center bit that looks like corn on the cob. What a shame about the nasty odour. I know the white Daisies will start smelling like a pile of stinky socks forgotten in a corner(hee hee), but I have no idea how this lovely plant will "pong" if left standing in a vase, in the living room !!
With this comment I will leave you with the sweet scent of the GINCO tree. :-) :-)

Cyndy said...

I love this plant too. They grow all over the damp woodland here in Connecticut. I've transplanted one to my little pond and hope it might bloom this year.

Heather said...

Oh you've got those too, eh? Stinky and pretty all at the same time!

Rosella said...

Hi, Keewee! Thanks for your comment on my little blog the other day. Spring is in full swing here, and the famous cherries are blooming, as are the lovely tulip magnolias.

What an interesting flower on the skunk cabbage -- I don't think I've ever seen one live and in colour! I'll be back soon.

Darla said...

Looks like a Calla Lily on steriods!

Randy Emmitt said...

Jennifer,
Never seen the blooms before, very cool! In the old days hunters would smear skunk cabbage onto them and the deer could not detect their scent. Now days I think we are too vain to do this.

Grace Peterson said...

Jennifer, This is the loveliest photo of Skunk Cabbage I've ever seen. Maybe if it is indeed odorless, you can propagate it and call it 'Jennifer' and gardeners the world over will want to grow it. That would be awesome, wouldn't it?!

Kathleen said...

It's beautiful KeeWee! I rarely see it in gardens around here but I've admired it forever in gardening magazines (especially the English ones ~ it seems to be much more popular there??) So great you grow it. I should look into whether or not it would grow here (zone 5) another early bloomer would be awesome. Happy Easter!

Sunita said...

Oh yes, I agree, it's too pretty for that rather offensive name. Swamp Lantern does sound marginally better, doesn't it?

Lynn said...

That's a beautiful one! I keep looking around here but haven't seen any yet, though I think they are up already.