Friday, March 25, 2016

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

Dreary day over Buzzards Bay
Visited Allens Pond yesterday on a cold, blustery and cloudy day.  I was shown a group of people around and did take some pictures, utilizing my Nikon D 810 in my Tokina 11-17 mm.  I photograph some scenics and then turn my attention to shooting a sign of spring.  What is the sign of spring?  It is the skunk cabbage.  What strikes your eye is the spiral-shaped hood that is maroon in color and mottled with yellow or yellow-green.  People believe that this is the flower of the skunk cabbage.  No, it is a specialized leaf called a spathe that surrounds this spherical head of flowers called the spadix.  The spadix has many tightly packed individual flowers that have no petals.  The green leaves of the skunk cabbage grow up alongside the spathe.  A great article that talks about the history of the skunk cabbage is from the Nature Institute http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic4/skunkcabbage.htm.  Skunk cabbage is a found in the wetlands because they need water all year round.  So if you are interested in photographing the skunk cabbage now is the time.
Skunk cabbage surrounded by moss in the mud
Skunk cabbage spathes
Skunk cabbage looking into the opening at the spadix



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