Skunk cabbage flower

Skunk cabbage flower

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Credit: ALAN SIRULNIKOFF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Skunk cabbage. Flower of the western, or yellow, skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum), a type of lily, on a forest floor. This flower, also known as yellow arum and swamp lantern, produces this flower in early spring. The yellow 'petal' is actually a specialised leaf called a spathe, while the true flowers grow on the spike (spadix). It takes its common name from the pungent smell the flowers produce to attract pollinating insects. The skunk cabbage grows in wet areas in forests in north-western North America. It contains poisonous chemicals which burn the throats and stomachs of herbivores. Photographed in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.

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Keywords: angiosperm, angiosperms, botany, british columbia, canada, coquitlam, flower, lily, lysichiton americanum, monocot, monocots, monocotyledon, monocotyledons, nature, plant, poisonous, skunk cabbage, spadix, spathe, swamp lantern, western, wild flowers, yellow arum

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