Skunk Cabbage in February

I lead a hike yesterday at the Howard County Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant Farm – a skunk cabbage swamp stomp. I finally managed to photograph the spadix (round, ovoid, bearing true flowers) inside the spathe (flesh hood, wine or brown with vertical speckled brown or green).

After the first two pictures, one of the younger hikers held a small flashlight for me….it’s much easier to see the flowers on the spadix with the extra light.

I’ve created a slide show with the rest of the photos. There were a lot of skunk cabbage to see – multiple spadix in clumps, tightly coiled leaves with split purple or brown coverings, a few plants so close to the stream that the water carried the soil away from their roots, some sprouting withing the stream, others camouflaged in the grassy remains of last summer’s vegetation, and mud everywhere! Skunk cabbage like it wet.

When I was putting together slides to introduce the plant to hikers, I realized that I had pictures of blooming skunk cabbage from January,


And April.

Now I can add February to my collection!