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Skunk Cabbage
(Symplocarpus foetidus)

 skunk cabbage flower.jpg

The flower consists of a thick hooded spath with green and purple spots or streaks. Inside, a fat fleshy spadix has a symmetrical mosaic pattern of small yellow flowers. Individual rhizomes can survive decades, maybe centuries. The spathe is shaped to produce a constant movement of air within itself helping to maintain an even temperature. You can find large quantities of skunk cabbage in Duff Park in several areas along both sides of Funk Bike Way, a few along Fernwood and Trillium Trails, along Round Top and Pasture Rose Trails, many along Coronary and Violet Trails and large patches on the flood plains on both sides of Turtle Creek. Skunk cabbage is also found in other parks: the wetlands of MCP and wet areas in Bear Hollow, Pleasant Valley, and Townsend Parks.

All photographs taken at Duff Park by Pat Comas, Tom Morton, Kyle Selcer and Theo van de Venne.

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