Skunk cabbage

A wild flower photo opportunity came up while along the Clarion-Little Toby Rail Trail. Many people will tell you that bears like Skunk Cabbage but how many know that it is the earliest wild flower to bloom, often opening up in mid Febuary. The Spathe (some call flower) is mottled and shell-like with the club shaped Spadix inside where insects are drawn for pollination. This, too, is a wild edible That Lee Allen Peterson talks about in his Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants but it takes some special consideration before you can use it. I've tried the sliced and dried corm of a relative plant, Jack-In-The-Pulpit. That was pretty good, tasting of peppery potato chips.

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