Breaking or tearing a leaf produces a pungent odor.
(not considered an attractive trait
and may discourage some from approaching it)
This property lends itself to the 'skunk'
in the common name.
While not considered edible,
the plant is not poisonous to the touch.
Though unpleasant, the smell is not harmful.
The foul odor attracts its pollinators,
scavenging flies, stoneflies, and bees.
Those that are necessary for producing fruit.
The odor in the leaves may also serve to
discourage large animals from disturbing
or damaging this plant
which grows in soft wetland soils.
Helps to keep the predators away, as well,
that would lead to the destruction of the plant
as it tries to grow in soil not usually considered
optimal for most growth.
Skunk cabbage is notable for its ability
to produce heat of up to 15-35° C above air temperature
by cyanide resistant cellular respiration
in order to melt its way through frozen ground,
placing it among a small group of plants exhibiting thermogenesis.
Although flowering whilst there is
still snow and ice on the ground
it is successfully pollinated by early insects
that also emerge at this time.
Some studies suggest that beyond
allowing the plant to grow in icy soil,
the heat it produces may help to spread its odor in the air.
Carrion-feeding insects that are attracted by the scent
may be doubly encouraged to enter the spathe
because it is warmer than the surrounding air,
The heat that this plant generates
crying out for help
allows it's cry to be more clearly heard
and to be recognized
by those searching early for such an opportunity
while many rest and wait until conditions
are just right (or at least) more convenient.
Eastern Skunk Cabbage has contractile roots
which contract after growing into the earth.
This pulls the stem of the plant deeper into the mud,
so that the plant in effect grows downward,
Each year, the plant grows deeper into the earth,
so that older plants are practically impossible to dig up.
By growing... the plant more firmly anchors itself
into whatever it feels is necessary
for it's continued growth,
reproduction, and seed bearing fruit.
They reproduce by hard, pea-sized seeds
which fall in the mud
and are carried away by
animals or by floods.
This fruit, once formed,
produces very hard (weather resistant) tough seeds
that will be spread throughout their environment
by others or by surrounding conditions.
- taken from Wikipedia
(the bold, italicized print is mine)
Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus...
There are a lot of people in the world
living in a prison (many not of their own making)
that are crying out for help
and that are potentially
some of the greatest (and staunchest) witnesses
for spreading the faith (the good fruit) of the Word.
Are you someone who recognizes their need early
and have the desire to help,
going out of your comfort zone
(not waiting until what others feel is the "right"
... more convenient... time)
"If I speak in the tongues
of men and of angels,
but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong
or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith
that can move mountains,
but have not love,
I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor
and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love,
I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres."
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NIV
"Now about brotherly love
we do not need to write to you,
for you yourselves
have been taught by God
to love each other."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:9 NIV