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Symplocarpus foetidus [Eastern Skunk Cabbage]


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#1 Andrea B.

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 02:38

Blum, A.G. (2013) Symplocarpus foetidus (L.) Salisb. ex Nutt. (Araceae) Eastern Skunk Cabbage. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light. http://www.ultraviol...-skunk-cabbage/

Bicentennial Park, Middletown, New Jersey, USA
N40°23'30" W74°06'06"
05 April 2013
Wildflower

Synonyms:
  • Dracontium foetidum L.
  • Spathyema foetida (L.) Raf.
  • Zazen-sou (Japan)
  • Dharma-sou (Japan)
Comment:
This plant, native to the Eastern US, was found growing in a wetlands area along the edges of which Toxicodendron radicans was rampant. However, its dormancy did not make that apparent. While I was happy to obtain the UV photograph of the S. foetidus, the resultant T. radicans rash from that plant's leafless twigs was somewhat unpleasant.
Aiming the lens into the green-spotted spathe of this S. foetidus revealed its spadix with a few tiny flowers and a bit of pollen. The striking feature of this plant in UV is that the emerging, rolled leaflets were quite UV-bright with a bit of UV-color at their bottom in contrast to the UV-dark spathe and spadix flowers.
The spathe/spadix produces enough respiratory warmth that it can melt spring snows around it. Early insects like the warmth. This specimen hosted a few small dark grey beetles.

Reference:
1. New England Wild Flower Society (2013) Symplocarpus foetidus. Skunk-cabbage. http://gobotany.newe...arpus/foetidus/

Equipment [Nikon D600-broadband + Nikon 105mm f/4.0 UV-Nikkor]

Visible Light [f/11 for 1/8" @ ISO 100 with onboard Flash and Baader UVIR-Block Filter]
Attached Image: symplocarpusFoetidusVisFlash_040513bicennParkMidtownNJ_5255proofPn01.jpg

Ultraviolet Light [f/11 for 1.3" @ ISO 400 with SB-14 UV-modified Flash and Baader UV-Pass Filter]
Attached Image: symplocarpusFoetidusUVBaadSB14_040513bicennParkMidtownNJ_5239origProofPn01.jpg

Ultraviolet Light [f/11 for 1" @ ISO 400 with SB-14 UV-modified Flash and Baader UV-Pass Filter]
Attached Image: symplocarpusFoetidusUVBaadSB14_040513bicennParkMidtownNJ_5259proofPnCrop2.jpg

Detail from preceding photo.
Attached Image: symplocarpusFoetidusUVBaadSB14_040513bicennParkMidtownNJ_5259proofPnCrop.jpg
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#2 Akira

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 20:45

What? Skunk cabbage? Here in Japan, this species is called "Zazen-sou" or "Dharma-sou". The former means "seated meditation plant" as it looks like a Zen monk meditating. The latter comes from its appearance like meditating Dharma. Oh, well! :D

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 18:06

Akira, I think that the Japanese interpretation of this little plant is so much more lovely. I am going to adopt this idea of the meditating monk sitting inside his green splotched robe. Thank you for this most interesting comment.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.