Skunk Cabbages again

Jim McKenney
Thu, 05 Apr 2007 08:24:28 PDT
For those of you who don't live in skunk cabbage country and are wondering
what all the fuss is about (and I have to admit that I'm doing some of that
wondering myself), here is a link to some images of skunk cabbage spathes
photographed on March 12, 2007. At that time they were a bit past their
prime and some already had soft spots. In this area, it isn't unknown to see
the spathes emerge in January, so it's possible that the ones in the images
are as much as two months old.

The colors are strongly reminiscent of those of Sauromatum
guttatum/Typhonium venosum. As you can see, some are more red than others,
some more yellow, some dark and dull. 

Also included is an image of a germinated seed. This species seeds freely.
If you want to collect seeds easily, visit the plants in late November and
look for the tattered remains of the spathe, the seed cluster itself (golf
ball sized or even larger) or the seeds themselves lying on the ground. The
seeds are best planted immediately; most sources report that they do not
store well wet or dry. 

Here's the link to the images:

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where if I'm not mistaken the
Pacific Rim skunk cabbages, the Lysichiton,  are putting up inflorescences
this year - just in time for the dip into the mid to upper 20s F for the
next few nights. 

My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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