It seems to be a type of fern. It grows up from the ground about half a foot on this thin little stem. They tend to cluster together. The winter kills off the leaves which then sprout up from the roots the next spring.
Partially wooded habitat. Though probably fine in more heavily treed areas, they have survived loosing shade after huricanes and pine beetles have destroyed many of the trees. The soil is mostly hard red clay with a thin level of decomposed plant material on top in some areas.