Plants with Seeds that Stick to your Clothing

We’ve all had the experience of returning from a walk in a field or forest and discovered that parts of our clothing, socks or shoe laces are loaded with little seeds or burs. It can even be worse for dog owners.

Here is a look at the main culprits.

BURDOCKS

Burdocks come in two species and both have similar “burs” though the Great Burdock “burs” are larger than the Common Burdock “burs and have longer stalks.

Great Burdock

Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Common Burdock

Common Burdock (Arctium minus)
Common Burdock (Arctium minus)

TICK-TREFOILS

The seeds are called “ticks” and have nothing to do with insect “ticks.” The leaves are divided into three leaflets (“trefoil”)

Pointed-leaf Tick-trefoil has a pointed leaf.

Pointed-leaved Tick-trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum)
Pointed-leaved Tick-trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum)

Showy Tick-trefoil has linear leaves

Showy Tick-trefoil (Desmodium canadense)
Showy Tick-trefoil (Desmodium canadense)

Two plants have nicknames with the word “beggar” in it demonstrating the fact that they “hitch a ride”.

Beggar-ticks

Beggar-ticks (Bidens frondosa)

Beggar’s-lice (Stickseed)

Stickseed (Hackelia deflexa)
Virginia Stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

A few years ago, I released this Kinglet which had become ensnared in Beggar’s-lice.

Kinglet caught in Stickseed

Enchanter’s-nightshade

Enchanter’s-nightshade (Cirsaea canadensis)
Enchanter’s-nightshade (Cirsaea canadensis)

Hedge-parsley

Hedge-parsley (Torilis japonica)
Hedge-parsley (Torilis japonica)

Yellow Avens

Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)

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