Primitive, Striking and Smelly: Cozying Up With the Skunk Cabbage | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

Primitive, Striking and Smelly: Cozying Up With the Skunk Cabbage

Play associated audio
Skunk cabbage flowers generate their own heat using an oxygen burning process very similar to that used by animals.  The heat in these flowers can reach 70 degrees in the dead of winter, melting the snow around it and attracting beetles and other pollinators.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoopmon/3385830049
Skunk cabbage flowers generate their own heat using an oxygen burning process very similar to that used by animals. The heat in these flowers can reach 70 degrees in the dead of winter, melting the snow around it and attracting beetles and other pollinators.

Coming out to play is what spring is all about, and in the local plant world, one of the first things to emerge come spring is the smelly "skunk cabbage." It simulates death to pollinate itself and can even melt the snow around it! Environmental reporter Sabri Ben-Achour takes a walk to find out this primitive plant's secret.

[Music: "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave (As Made Famous by Martha and the Vandellas) (Karaoke Version)" by Party Tyme Karaoke from Karaoke/Party Tyme Karaoke: Oldies 1]

NPR

For Wintry Weather, An Especially Cold And Snowy Tale

This week we celebrated not only Christmas, but also the solstice — the shortest day of the year. In honor of this wintry weather, author Edward Carey recommends his favorite winter fairy tale.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #MuslimApologies Grew Out Of Both Anger And Whimsy

Maha Hilal helped launch #MuslimApologies partly as a rebuttal to the more earnest hashtag, #NotInOurName. She tells Audie Cornish how it reflects a divisive conversation in the Muslim community.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.