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One of the few natives that has the ability to metabolically generate heat. Using cyanide resistant cellular respiration generated by the underground stem, making it one of the first natives to bloom in spring even if there is still ice & snow on the ground. Temperatures can reach 20 degrees warmer in the bloom, known as the spath than the surrounding air temperatures for nearly two weeks. The rancid smell of the blooms attracts carrion-feeding flies & gnats, which are attrated to the smell of decomposing flesh, but this interesting native can also be visited by numerous insects because of the warmth radiated from the blooms. Insects carry pollen from one bloom to the other for pollination. Once flowers are pollinated a compound fruit with a blocky surface will develop. Leafy cabbage-like foliage unfurls after blooms fade. Thrives in moist habitats, wet thickets, swamps, along streams, wetlands, & bogs. Grows 2 ft tall in partial sun to light shade. Tolerates shallow standing water, but crown cannot stay constantly submerged.  

Symplocarpus foetidus - Skunk cabbage

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