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Rachel and I took a quick walk in Murray Forest at lunch today. We saw a box turtle and both a pileated and red-headed woodpecker.

We also saw jack-in-the-pulpit, fire pink, and trillium. The main reason we went today, though, was American columbo (frasera caroliniensis). At some point this morning I came across a mention of this plant and realized it sounded like something I had seen in one of my favorite spots in Murray Forest. Its normal state is as a rosette of large leaves:

But after a number of years—anywhere from five to thirty, from what I’ve read—it will suddenly develop a long central stalk that will bloom into dozens of flowers. According to Midwest Naturalist, the flowering is not on a fixed schedule and it is not known what triggers it. Thankfully there are several in this spot in Murray Forest that have developed the stalk. I hope to see them blooming in the next few days. I will keep you updated!

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