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- Looking for a hardy and unique perennial. Why not take a closer look at the squaw-root plant? This cone-shaped plant grows easily among oak and beech trees. A cone shape bloom, a pale cream proves very easy to grow.
Squaw Root Benefits In Landscaping
Squaw Root – Conopholis Americana
The Squaw Root is a flowering plant that produces uniquely shaped blooms that resemble pine cones in their appearance. Some people even describe them as corncobs due to the way the flowers cluster around the stem. They bloom in the early spring as temperatures rise with a yellowish cream color that slowly turns brown as the summer months progress. By winter they are shriveled and black as the flowers die back. The flowers themselves are .3 to .5 inches long and are five-parted. They have a tubular shape that is wider at the base, and they face downward along the stem. The Squaw Root does not photosynthesize. It is a parasitic plant that attaches itself to the roots of trees and feeds off of them without causing any obvious harm to its host. They are typically found in zones 4 through 7 at the base of Eastern North American Beach or Oak trees. Since it doesn’t rely on photosynthesis, the Squaw Root does not have green leaves, but instead it produces tiny ovate scales that grow along the stem. These are found just under the flowers. Each plant has a single sturdy stem without any branches that the blooms cluster around. The plant has an overall fast growth rate, and thrives in rich, deep soils like that found in the forests. Once a Squaw Root reaches full maturity, it will have a height that ranges between four and eight inches tall. Gardeners rarely use this flowering species in landscaping, but it will add interest around the perimeter of one’s yard where there are plenty of host trees and a forested canopy overhead. It is a rarity to come across it growing naturally in the woods because bears feed off of it in preparation for hibernation.