Eastern Skunk Cabbage, a Peculiar Plant that Provides Bees with Ample Pollen in Early Spring

Michigan State University    By Dr. Zachary Huang      April 23, 2014

What is 20 degrees C (36 F) warmer than the air temperature, can push through ice in later winter and early spring?

What plant behaves like an endothermic animal: it has to burn a lot of energy to regulate that higher temperature?

What has a nice shelter that it does not matter if it rains “outside”, it can provide protection for insects?

What is so strongly smelly yet provides so much pollen so honey bees will forage on it?

What plant has enough calcium oxalate that might give you a kidney stone if you eat one serving of its leaves?

It is the Eastern skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. 

For many years I go to visit the 2-3 skunk cabbages at the MSU Beal Botanic Garden and could not find bees.  So, this year...

Read more & view photos at Dr. Huang's BeetheBest Blog, http://bees.msu.edu/2014/eastern-skunk-cabbage/