This kind of skunk-Skunk-cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. It is one of the earliest wildflowers that pushes its odd-looking gnome's hat through the mucky ground of wetlands in late February and early March. The structure that looks like a gnome's hat is called a spathe.Skunk-cabbage is a common North American member of the Arum Family(Araceae). The largest member of this family is the spectacular Titan Arum from Sumatra, while the smallest is the tiny duckweed that floats on many of our ponds. Another member of the Arum Family many plant enthusiasts may be familiar with is the Peace Lily, a favored indoor plant.
Above is a closeup of the spadix with the tiny flowers evenly spaced over the surface.
In late spring and early summer, the giant leaves of Skunk-cabbage can reach lengths of 20 inches and can measure 16 inches wide. When crushed, they also produce a pungent odor similar to a skunk. Native Americans would crush the petioles of the leaves containing the chemical calcium oxalate and apply to the skin to help heal deep bruises. If ingested, this chemical produces a sensation of hot, burning needles that can last for hours. This helps deter animals from eating the plant.
(Photos of robin, skunk and skunk-cabbage leaves from Wikipedia)