I was hiking within the Howard Buford Recreation Area near Eugene, Oregon recently and came across this incredibly bizarre thing. It looks to be definitely organic and perhaps part of something, though I couldn’t identify it any farther than that.. It looked like it may have been dragged up from a nearby pond and chewed on a bit.
Any ideas? Thank you much!
It looks to be the rotting stem of some sort of plant. I can’t say that I know the plants well enough from that area of the country to say what native plant it might be. It’s reminiscent of the stem of a palm or a cycad or a philodendron or a tree fern, none of which would be native, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being dumped. It also doesn’t rule out the possibility of a non native plant growing and dying and leaving this behind. Each scale like space looks to be where the leaf petiole would have joined the stem. Many plants leave this sort of scar behind after the leaf or frond falls off.
You might show that picture to someone at the arboretum up there and see if they have a good idea.