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Looks Aren't Everything: Skunk Cabbage near Hot Springs Cove Boardwalk # 6557

Below is a description of the photograph you were looking for, and the circumstances surrounding the photo.
Date: 2005.03.29
Vantage Point: From trail to hot springs on Openit Peninsula

Caption: The western skunk cabbage is found throughout the Pacific rain forest.

PhotoDescr: The western or yellow skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum) is a member of the arum or philodendron family and a distinct species from the eastern skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). I've never smelled an eastern skunk cabbage, but didn't notice any particular odor to this plant, growing next to the boardwalk to the hot springs in Maquinna Provincial Park along with many others of its kind.

The tube-shaped part in the centre is called a spadix and consists of many tiny individual flowers, while the surrounding part is a bract or modified leaf known as a spathe.

Most other members of the arum family are tropical jungle flowers. The marshiest parts of the Pacific rain forests are where these plants are found; they are among the earliest blooming plants of their ecosystem.

When I first encountered and photographed these plants it was near Prince Rupert in 1975; I didn't know what they were called, but found the shape eye-catching. Perhaps if I had known the name I would have found them less attractive, which would have been my loss.

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