- From fibrous roots, stout, erect, herbaceous, to +/-2m tall, branching, 4-angled (the angles rounded), fluted, essentially glabrous but with a few antrorse hairs in upper portions, typically purple.
- Opposite, petiolate, trifoliolate. Petiole to +/-5cm long, with an adaxial groove (groove curly pubescent within), the rest of the petiole glabrous or with very sparse short pubescence. Lateral leaflets with petiolules to 5-6mm long, basally oblique. Terminal leaflet with petiolule to 2.5cm long, larger than lateral leaflets, sometimes unequally divided. All leaflets serrate, acuminate, puberulent above, pubescent below, to +10cm long, 4cm broad, light green below, deep dull green above.
- Loose cymose arrangement of flower heads.
- Outer series of bracts spreading, 5-8 in number, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate or spatulate, ciliate-margined, occasionally with a few coarse serrate teeth, to 3cm long, +/-6mm broad, antrorse pubescent below and above on midrib. Inner series to 1cm long, 8mm in diameter in flower. Inner bracts yellowish-green, subulate, erect, appressed, glabrous, to 7mm long, 3mm broad.
- Corolla 3.1mm long, whitish at base, yellowish in apical 1/2, glabrous, contracted in basal 1/2, 5-lobed. Lobes acute, yellow, spreading to erect, .4mm long, papillate internally. Stamens 5, adnate at apex of contracted portion of corolla tube. Filaments glabrous, whitish, 1.3mm long. Anthers connate around style, only partially exserted, 1mm long, purplish. Style exserted, bifurcate, yellowish at apex (stigmas). Achenes antrorsely barbed, compressed, to 5mm long. Awns 2, to +3mm long, retrorsely barbed. Chaff thin, transparent, yellowish-brown at apex, to 8-9mm long, 1.1mm broad, slightly folded, glabrous.
- This species of
can be found throughout Missouri. The plant described above is
which has the retrorse barbs on its awns. Form
has barbs which are antrorse on the awns. This latter form has not been found in Missouri.
Because this species grows close to water, it is eaten by muskrats. The achenes are eaten by ducks.
Photographs taken at The Summit Conference Center, Brown Summit, NC., 9-14-01, and along the shores of the Current River, Shannon County, MO., 9-20-03.
Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA SCS. 1989.
Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species
. Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln. Provided by USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute (WSI).
This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of
Weeds of the U.S.
Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 832. 1753.
Porter ex Fernald;
Fernald & H. St. John;
petioles 10—40(—60) mm; blades deltate to lance-ovate overall, 30—80(—150+) × 20—60(—100+) mm, 3(—5)-foliolate, leaflets petiolulate, lanceolate to lance-ovate, (15—)35—60(—120) × (5—)10—20(—30) mm, bases cuneate, margins dentate to serrate, sometimes ciliate, apices acuminate to attenuate, faces glabrous or hirtellous.
usually borne singly, sometimes in 2s or 3s or in open, corymbiform arrays.
of (5—)8(—10) ascending to spreading, spatulate or oblanceolate to linear, sometimes ± foliaceous bractlets or bracts 5—20(—60) mm, margins usually ciliate, abaxial faces glabrous or hirtellous.
campanulate to hemispheric or broader, 6—9 × 7—12 mm.
6—12, oblong or ovate to lance-ovate, 5—9 mm.
0 or 1—3+; laminae golden yellow, 2—3.5 mm.
20—60(—120+); corollas ± orange, 2.5—3+ mm.
blackish to brown or stramineous, ± obcompressed, obovate to cuneate, outer 5—7 mm, inner 7—10 mm, margins antrorsely or retrorsely barbed, apices ± truncate to concave, faces usually 1-nerved, sometimes tuberculate, glabrous or sparsely hirtellous;
of 2 ± erect to spreading, antrorsely or retrorsely barbed awns 2—5 mm.
= 24, 48, 72.
Infusions and tinctures of
are rated as outstanding herbal therapies for irritation, inflammation, pain, and bleeding of the urinary tract mucosa and are used for benign prostatic hypertrophy and increasing excretion of uric acid, decreasing the risk of gout attacks, as well as other medical uses (M. Moore 1993).
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