Plant ID — found in a gorge in upstate NY

Plant ID — found in a gorge in upstate NY

OK, so I need some help with a plant ID. This was found in Mountour Falls, NY (near Ithaca). It grows in a gorge, and my brother found it. He said it did not grow in dirt, but had a big ball a little bigger than a softball that was on top of some rocks. There were 5 stalks with these buds coming off of the one central ball. He says there were originally seven stalks, but someone had cut off 2, leaving 5. He also says that it was obviously an interesting and special plant. Here's a pic. Thanks!
What sort of bush is this?

What sort of bush is this?

Identity Needed

Identity Needed

quick question

quick question

Backyard in progress

Backyard in progress

From over the fence

From over the fence

I need help, badly!

I need help, badly!