We are at the very beginnings of what soon will be the BIG BLOOM. When it seems like all the flowers are presenting their beauty at one time. One of the very earliest of Spring flowers here in Southeastern Michigan is the Skunk Cabbage. It’s flower really doesn’t look much like those beautiful wild flowers to come, but it is non the less, the earliest of spring blooms.
It is not uncommon for Skunk Cabbage to even push their way up through the melting snow. The plant prefers a swamping habitat and thrives in that deep black, water soaked soil of a swamps edge or stream bank.
Like many other plants in Michigan, it changes dramatically as the year moves forward. In this early Springtime, it appears as a twisted cone, with an almost alien looking knobbed ball inside. This will quickly give way to a very green leafy plant that will open to an almost 3 foot wide spread of giant green leafs. You will see many of these together along a swampy area like a blanket of green. The growth rate is amazing.
Probably the next earliest bloomer in Southeastern Michigan as Spring flowers go, is the Blood Root. Some people will debate this plant as being the earliest of flower blooms, in but in this area of S.E. Michigan, I normally find the Blood Root, white flower to be the first real flower I mostly come across, this early in the season.
The flower only lasts a week or so and then the only way to identify this very Cool plant, is by it’s unique leaf shape. You will want to learn this plant because of it’s many uses. The Native Americans used it for cloths Dye, as did our early Pioneers. It produces a bright red color, deep in the root. That red changes to a more orangey color as you come closer to the surface.
We are still a few weeks away from the Big Bloom of Spring wild flowers here in Southeastern Michigan. But you can find the Skunk Cabbage already, and very shortly the Blood Root flower will start to appear. Check the Spring Flowers ID sheet we have put together for S.E. Michigan. We have not covered every single spring flower, but we have tried to cover the most commonly found flowers in this corner of our state of Michigan.
DOWNLOAD THE SPRING FLOWERS ID SHEETS HERE
There are many other useful ID sheets and Outdoor reference guides on the Hiking Michigan web site, on the DOWNLOADS Page.
GO TO THE HM WEBSITE DOWNLOADS PAGE