Squawroot (Conopholis americana) is also known as Cancer Root and Bear Cone. It’s a strange and fascinating little plant that looks like a pinecone, produces no chlorophyll of its own, and lives mostly underground as a parasite on the roots of oak trees, seemingly without harming them. It’s also known to have medicinal properties. The squawroot plant has an unusual life cycle. Its seeds sink into the ground near a tree in the red oak family. Unlike other plants, which immediately send up leaves to collect chlorophyll, the squawroot seed’s first order of business is to send down roots. These roots travel down until they make contact with the oak’s roots, and they latch on.