Skunk Cabbage

Those brilliant yellow spikes show up in wet areas all over the Valley. Brilliant spikes of light in usually dark swampy areas.

The two names most commonly used are Skunk Cabbage and Swamp Lantern. If you have managed to get out and have a look at these plants, it’s easy to see why they are called Swamp Lanterns.

Growing in dark wet areas, the flowering spikes look like bright lanterns. I always thought because they were called Skunk Cabbage, they smelled like a skunk. To date I have not found that, in fact it is an almost sickly sweet smell that is quite strong when there are a lot growing.

So which do you prefer? I am a Swamp Lantern person now! If you do decide to check them out, take rubber boots because it’s gonna be muddy! I always look forward to this time of year, as photographing these beauties is one of my yearly highlights. Once the flowers fade, the leaves continue growing looking like huge cabbage leaves. They are very large by the fall.

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