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Skunk Cabbage

At Lambton Woods in the early spring, you can be sure to come across quite a bit of skunk cabbage. What a fascinating plant.

The Latin name for this plant is Symplocarpus foetidus.

It grows in wetlands and blooms in the very early spring. In fact it is a thermogenic plant, which can generate temperatures around it many degrees above air temperature. It does this through cellular respiration. It can actually melt ice and snow around it and poke its nose up even in late winter. I saw this for myself this past winter.

It’s also a colourful, beautiful plant, a real treat this early in spring.

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