Invasion of the Skunk Cabbages, Part II
Sometimes there is a short stalk beside the spathe, leaves furled tight and waiting while the golden orb expends heat, is pollinated, turns brown. As each orb cools, the stalks unfurl into a canopy of broad, green, sun-soaking leaves, but growth is all downward. While most things grow up, these aliens send out pulsing roots that pry ever-deeper into the mud, become more tenaciously anchored and impossible to remove. Then the leaves vanish. They don't decay, they dissolve, but beneath the ground and inside each expanding and ever-deepening leaf stalk lies a succession of tiny orbs wrapped in tiny spathes, each one smaller than the one above, spiraling downward into the future.