Nature Notes

Please check back periodically for information about our resident animals, wildlife, and other natural phenomenon.

Thanks to Master Naturalist Debbie Satorius for this timely article on . . .

Skunk Cabbage
Symplocarpus foetidus

·       A moisture loving forest ephemeral
·       More closely related to Jack-in-the-pulpit than cabbage
·       It gets its name from the pungent odor it gives off when 
      any part of the plant is  broken or damaged
·       Flowers in the winter before leaves emerge, attracting 
      gnats and flies that pollinate the flowers and take 
      refuge within the flower structure. Often flowers 
      in February.
·       Food for snails and slugs as well as ruby tiger 
      moth and cattail borer moth caterpillars
·       Contain crystals of calcium oxalate, making them toxic 
      to most animals, yet hungry snapping turtles and 
      bears have been seen eating the leaves in spring

Photo Credit:  Debbie Satorius

Feeds winter pollinators.

Flowers through the snow.

Spring leaves.

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