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Content tagged with "legume"

Photo of sensitive brier leaves

Sensitive Brier (Catclaw Sensitive Brier) (Leaves)

The leaves of sensitive brier are doubly compound, with tiny leaflets that are sensitive to touch and can fold and close like those of the related mimosa tree. The stems are covered with small hooked barbs. Rural children learn not to run through prairies barefoot because of the sprawling, scratchy stems of this plant, which are also called "devil's shoelaces."

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Photo of large group of sericea lespedeza plants

Sericea Lespedeza

Decades ago, sericea lespedeza was introduced in hopes it would provide hay, improve pastures, stop soil erosion, and supply food and cover for wildlife. Unfortunately, it has proven to be an aggressive, invasive weed that is extremely difficult to control, escapes cultivation, and outcompetes native plants.

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Photo of large group of sericea lespedeza plants

Sericea Lespedeza

Lespedeza cuneata
Decades ago, sericea lespedeza was introduced in hopes it would provide hay, improve pastures, stop soil erosion, and supply food and cover for wildlife. Unfortunately, it has proven to be an aggressive, invasive weed that is extremely difficult to control, escapes cultivation, and outcompetes native plants.

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Photo of sesbania flowers and foliage

Sesbania (Bequilla; Coffee-Weed; Hemp Sesbania)

Sesbania herbacea (formerly S. exaltata)
Sesbania, a type of legume, may become a troublesome exotic species in wetland communities that are managed for waterfowl.

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Photo of showy partridge pea showing flowers, buds, and leaves.

Showy Partridge Pea

The interesting, bright yellow flowers of showy partridge pea are immediately recognizable. At night, the leaflets close and pull upward into a sleeping position.

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Photo of showy partridge pea plant showing flowers, leaves, and young fruits.

Showy Partridge Pea

Showy partridge pea is one of the most commonly seen roadside plants of early fall. The unusual flowers have a fascinating biology and ecology, encouraging visits by bumblebee pollinators and ant protectors. When mature, the seeds split open suddenly and fling seeds more than a yard away.

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Photo of showy partridge pea plant in a field.

Showy Partridge Pea

The leaflets of showy partridge pea fold up along the midrib at night into a so-called sleeping position, and often upon being touched. This phenomenon is called nyctinasty and is thought to be an adaption to control water loss or afford protection from herbivores. Many members of the bean family exhibit this characteristic.

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Photo of showy partridge pea showing flowers, buds, and leaves.

Showy Partridge Pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata (formerly Cassia fasciculata)
The interesting, bright yellow flowers of showy partridge pea are immediately recognizable. At night, the leaflets close and pull upward into a sleeping position.

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Photo of slender bush clover flowers

Slender Bush Clover

Lespedeza virginica
A bushy native perennial legume with small clusters of pink flowers, slender bush clover provides nectar for numerous insects. Several types of birds eat the seeds, and many mammals eat the foliage.

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Photo of southern wild senna showing a flower cluster and a few leaflets.

Southern Wild Senna

Senna marilandica (formerly Cassia marilandica)
The flowers of southern wild senna don’t look much like typical pea-family flowers, but its leaves and bean pods show the family resemblance. Look for it in moist situations, mostly south of the Missouri River.

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