• Various/Onna Carr

A Rose by Any Other Name

I came across this picture of skunk cabbage in bloom and it reminded me of that quote from Anne in Anne of Green Gables where she says that even though Shakespeare said “that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” she doubted that if roses were called skunk cabbages, they would smell as sweet. I had never seen an actual skunk cabbage in bloom until this year, and I know what Anne meant now.

Skunk cabbages are unique, reminiscent of a plant out of 1960’s-era Star Trek that Spock would have found “fascinating.” They smell unpleasantly, yes, but they are unique in that they look like Napa cabbage growing in a rainy ditch for the longest time and then, almost magically and overnight, they change to a purple oddity of strange, almost intergalactic proportions. Skunk cabbage yet again reminds me that, though things may change, they are still in their elemental state, the same objects.

Photo by B.

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