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Archive for March, 2010

Skunk Cabbage

We (my wife and son Forrest) went on a hike near where we live at a place called Glen Alton Farm.  It is in Giles County near Pearisburg, VA on 635 which is where Big Stony Creek follows alongside the road.  The farm is about 13 miles from 460.  It has beautiful ponds, creeks, farmland, beaver dams, water lillies, and birds.  This picture is of the bloom of the Skunk Cabbage plant, also known as Polecat or Swamp Cabbage.  It blooms in March and almost looks like a large pitcher plant.  It is in the Arum Family and grows in swampy areas.  Another wildflower blooming was the yellow Coltsfoot which is in the Aster or Sunflower family.

A funny story about this plant is once I was hiking with my son with some Boy Scouts in the Mount Rogers Recreations Area and we were camping at the Wilson Creek Shelter on the Appalachian Trail.  A thru-hiker had come in and had eaten some Skunk Cabbage thinking he was eating Ramps (an onion like plant).  He was very sick, had diarrhea, and was vomiting with severe stomach pains.  Someone had to call the local rescue squad and they came and took him to the hospital.   The scouts stayed away from Skunk Cabbage that weekend.

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