So I just missed the blooming of the skunk cabbage this year. In fact, I’ve never seen it. The photo in my previous post was taken in the Native Flora Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Tuesday; there were just a few post-bloom leaves there. The pictures in this post come from today on Staten Island.To the right of the leaves is what remains of the spathe, the green-purple leafy hood that encloses the spadex and emerges before the leaves. Its decomposing now.Here’s another where we can see the spadex within the spathe. The spadex, a fleshy spike, has a dense cluster of small flowers at its top. These and the enveloping spathe emerge from deep fleshy roots.So, emerging very early, sometimes through the snow, which, as we saw in our last post, the plant can actually melt, the plant attracts the earliest winged pollinators, usually flies of various kinds, by smelling akin to carrion. Ummmmm. Alas, or thank goodness, the spadex here was past its rotten prime and didn’t smell at all. Indeed, the flowers, now fertilized, have produced the seeds you see here still clustered on the spadex. There are lots more details here.
The leaves of the plant give it that skunky odor, which I kind of enjoy.
Next year, in Staten Island, for the blooming.