These interesting yellow flowers grow on a plant called a skunk cabbage. It's named for its odor, which smells like rotten meat. The plant stores food in its fleshy roots all winter so it can flower very early in the spring. When the flowers bloom, there may still be snow on the ground. However, the plant produces enough heat to melt the snow.
Why does the skunk cabbage put so much energy into producing its unusual, smelly blooms? The purpose is to attract flies and other insects that will pollinate its flowers. The production of flowers for reproduction was one of the most important traits to evolve in plants.