Wednesday 28 May 2014

Swamp Candles

    We drove up to Prince George on Monday.  It was the first time this year that the sides of the roads weren’t lined with snow, although you could still see a few patches of snow in the bush in places.  One of the things that did catch my eye were the bright yellow flowers of skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum).  You might recognize the similarity of this flower with the bog arum that I blogged about on May 25th.   They both are members of the arum family,and are also related to the taro plant.  
    Skunk cabbage is actually a good name for this plant, since the plant itself has large cabbage-like leaves and the plant does smell like a skunk.  First Nations people used the leaves like we use wax paper--to wrap food and other things in.  
    Skunk cabbage likes really wet boggy areas, areas that are too wet for trees to grow in.  It is always a nice surprise to see these bright yellow flowers sticking up in swampy areas, after the snow melts.

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