April 20, 2021

Symplocarpus foetidus.

The view from the Skunk Cabbage Bridge:


There really is a Skunk Cabbage Bridge in the UW Arboretum. It traverses the Skunk Cabbage Wetland. 



I took those pictures yesterday.

The Latin name for skunk cabbage is Symplocarpus foetidus

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 thermogenic plants.... Some studies suggest that beyond allowing the plant to grow in icy soil, the heat it produces may help to spread its odor in the air. Carrion-feeding insects that are attracted by the scent may be doubly encouraged to enter the spathe because it is warmer than the surrounding air, fueling pollination....