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What is this plant?

What is this plant?


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It was found in Eastern Pennsylvania (in the United States) in a deeply wooded area.


Those are the fruit clusters of a common "wildflower" that often grow in wet areas, called Eastern Skunk Cabbage or Symplocarpus foetidus. Initially (early Spring), it's not bad looking (and some species - such as the western skunk flower - are even pretty):

But after a while, the spathe (sheath) dries up while the seeds grow in the spadix (the fleshy thing in the middle with the little 'flowers') grow, leaving the swollen spadix (fruit):

The tip off, though, is the characteristic new growth, very skunk-cabbagey, so I would guess those fruits are from the previous year (?).

  • Eastern skunk cabbage is notable for its ability to generate temperatures of up to 15-35 °C (27-63 °F) above air temperature by cyanide resistant cellular respiration in order to melt its way through frozen ground, placing it among a small group of plants exhibiting thermogenesis.

This allows it to flower through melted ice or snow. Also:

  • It's a member of the arum family.
  • It depends for fertilization on bugs that like carrion.
  • It's virtually impossible to dig up a well-established plant because the roots pull the plant down deeper into the soil every year (it has contractile roots).
  • It was widely used medicinally.

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)


Watch the video: Σανσιβέρια-Το Φυτό που διώχνει την Αρνητική Ενέργεια και θεωρείται Βόμβα Οξυγόνου για το σπίτι!! (May 2022).