Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to bloom in spring. Its flowers are often partly or wholly hidden beneath last year's fallen leaves. Like many other dark-colored flowers, skunk cabbage is pollinated mostly by flies. The flowers actually produce heat -- a benefit to the flies out in cold weather. The leaves emerge after the flowers. They smell unpleasant if they are crushed, hence the name "skunk cabbage."
- Family: arum (Araceae)
- Habitat: wet woods, marshes, streamsides
- Height: 1-2 feet
- Flower size: actual flowers are tiny (located on the ball-like spadix inside the hooded spathe); whole flowering structure is 3-5 inches high
- Flower color: purplish-brown and green
- Flowering time: February to April
- Origin: native