If you are a fan of wetlands, a several acre plot of Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus can bring a real smile to your face. Foetidus refers to the "fetid" smell of blooming Skunk Cabbage. No longer stinking- these are long past the blooming stage, now they resemble some giant "woodland hosta." This is a plant even the most avid landscape gardener could appreciate- but I have never seen their habitat replicated. Desired, but never duplicated.
This gorgeous stand was interspersed with several species of buttercups and Golden Ragwort, Packera aurea. Add fallen logs, and voila, you have a landscape as lovely as it is rare. Wetlands are diminishing in Ohio, but big box stores continue to drain and destroy these Edens of diversity. This particular wetland was purchased as a set-aside to replace a wetland destroyed in the name of .99 cent tube socks.
One spot in Ashland will never be a box store, because GMAS purchased the property with Clean Ohio Funds and donated it to the Ashland County Park District. GMAS will be hosting a Bio-Blitz on July 5, 2008, when we will seek out every creeping, crawling, flying and growing organism on the property. Come on out and join the fun; we'll have lots of experts on board. See the GMAS web page for details. Who knew a wetland could be so much fun?