In the depths of winter, skunk cabbage is often the first sign of spring. This cluster was found in a swampy area of Frances Slocum a week before Christmas, really rushing the season.
This plant doesn’t need to wait for spring’s warmth. It can generate heat even when the ground is frozen solid. In fact, in emerging, it can warm up to around 70 degrees. This allows the plant to bloom when most other species are dormant.
And while its pungent smell is well-deserved, its roots have been a popular cure for bronchitis, coughs and phlegm. Several herbal medical practitioners recommend skunk cabbage to treat nervous disorders as it is said to have moderate sedative or tranquilizing properties.
Native Americans also inhaled the aroma of mashed skunk cabbage leaves to get relief from headaches