"Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. In April, when the pointy green buds of skunk cabbage first emerge from underground tubers, they generate heat, sufficient to melt snow and thaw the soil," Riley Woodford, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is found along streams and in damp forests throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska. The plant is named for the unpleasant odor it uses to attract pollinators. Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to appear in spring in Alaska, and is therefore an early food source for bears coming out of hibernation. The plant is also consumed by black-tailed deer, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Look for skunk cabbage in Valdez in April or May along our hiking trails like Dock Point Trail or the John Hunter Memorial Trail. But since this plant is a food source for bears, remember to be bear aware!
Skunk Cabbage plant