We have been finding these clusters of sprouts all around the yard. They are always the same kind of plant. What are they, and why do they grow this way?
These are Sunflower sprouts. The fields around us are covered in wild Sunflowers. The chipmunks, squirrels, and other creatures collect a mouthful of seeds, and then bury them for later. When it rains, many of the hidden caches sprout, producing these clusters of young plants.