What is this?

What is this?

What are these things? Little spikes sticking out of the ground? Are they roots pushing up? Some kind of animal hatching?

Nope, they’re perennial plants growing! These are shoots of hostas poking out from the bulb that’s been waiting underground all winter. Lots of plants (including tulips with their famous bulbs) seem like they die in the fall and turn brown. They decay and disappear completely over the winter, but underground they’re just waiting in a knot around their roots.

When the weather warms, the bulbs send up new leaves,  sometimes as cones like this to drill up through the soil. In a few weeks these will be wide, green leaves and you’d never know they spent all winter waiting underground before coming out like springtime zombies!