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This flower looks like something out of the sci-fi classic "Alien". Each flower is about ¼' across and ½' long, consisting of 5 petals that hang downward, 5 curved cylindrical hoods that surround a central column, and the reproductive organs. The insignificant sepals are hidden by the petals. Each hood has an "exerted horn" - to me, these look like sharp teeth or claws.
Native to Eastern North America, found in moist woodland habitats. It likes moist soil and sunny or partly shaded places. Habitats consist of woodland openings, rich mesic woodlands, sandy woodlands, upland rocky woodlands, wooded slopes, areas along paths in woodlands, and woodland borders. Poke Milkweed is found in deciduous woodlands where oaks, maples, and similar trees are dominant.
Spotted along the road in Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
Spotted on Jun 1, 2013
Submitted on Jun 3, 2013