WILD CHILD I Spy: Skunk Cabbage

Have you ever wished you knew just a little more about the plant and animal life you see when you head outside? It can seem intimating when other people seem to recognize things in nature, and all the green leaves seem to look the same. But even experts started learning somewhere, so just start with one thing, and see if you can find it on your next walk. Before you realize it, you will start to recognize the plants and animals you see.

Skunk Cabbage

This is a Wild Child favorite. It’s one of the first forest plants visible as snow melts. While the red and white cone shape flower or spathe poking up from the forest floor is distinctive, the first time most people notice it is when they feel or hear a crunch under their feet while walking in the spring; you may also smell the distinctively skunky aroma this plant gives off. You will usually find it in the damp low areas near water. As the spring progresses, it will develop large green leaves and lose most of its smell, so now is the perfect time to find where it grows, and watch it transform with the seasons.