Identify this bulb

hdezeliaNovember 3, 2007

My son and I were walking in the woods along a river bank and came upon these bulbs. I tried to dig it up thinking I could bring part of it home. I dug down over 6 inches and still didn't find the bottom of it. I didn't want to damage it, so I only took off 2 scales from the mother plant. The only thing we saw when we found it were 2 small cones sticking up out of the muck about 2 inches. The picture is of the 2 scales I took. The soil there was very black and wet. I have to go back out and bury the bulbs, but wanted a picture to identify. We live in southern Michigan. I'm still trying to figure out how to post the picture.

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The directions say to use the browse button to find the picture on the computer. There is no browse button, only "optional link URL" and "name of the link". I can't seem to get the picture up.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 7:33PM
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I can't even see what the first poster can!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 7:38PM
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ok... I think this may help. I just registered for photobucket and face book. I hope this works!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:31PM
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Let's try it this way (this is using the HTML tag from your picture):

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Could be the early emerging inflorescence of Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. If you are able to check them again in a few weeks, they should unfurl to reveal a spadix inside. Later on, the spathe & spadix will wither and green leaves will emerge.
They can also emit a foul smelling odor to attract flies for pollination, thus the common name.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:12AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Definitely looks like Skunk Cabbage to me. They are one of the earliest native flowering plants where I live. I've read that the inside of the flower (the pictures above are of the flowers), can be much warmer, up to something like 40 degrees warmer, than the air temperature. This also helps to attract flies and other early insects.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:56AM
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Thanks alot! I googled skunk cabbage, and it definately looks the part! Although, it didn't stink a bit while we were trying to dig it up, or when I split the bulb. Maybe it was too young. Thank you again!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:27PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

"Maybe it was too young."

I've read skunk cabbage can live 100 or more years.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 11:10AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

They live along time and their roots go very deep. I'd leave them alone.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 12:51PM
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