Short February is followed by long March and, sometimes, wintry weather that hangs on well into April. That doesn’t mean you won’t see any wildflowers on your late-winter walks. In fact, one of our most striking plants is native to Michigan and the earliest bloomer. Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is found in many Michigan counties, usually in wet or low-lying areas.

Skunk cabbage

Fun facts about skunk cabbage:

  • Skunk cabbage produces heat to melt the snow so it can sprout and bloom
  • The leaves and flowers produce a strong, uniquely putrid smell
  • Skunk cabbage has a special root system that pulls the rhizome into the ground as the plant ages

Read more about skunk cabbage at the University of Michigan Herbarium website.