Plant Structure, Function, and Use

Plant Uses

What property makes skunk cabbage unique?

Skunk cabbage (Spathyema foetidus) blooms while snow is still on the ground. The root of the plant acts like a metabolic furnace, providing heat to the flowering shoot and melting the surrounding snow as it pushes up through the frozen ground. Plant botanists have been unable to identify the cause of this phenomenon. Different theories have been proposed, with some experts believing it is a special adaptation for the cold-weather climate and others speculating that it is an evolutionary remnant feature of a tropical plant.


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