Natural Attachments

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2002

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010

resistant to cedar-apple rust than are other hawthorns.

  • Tick trefoil, sticktights, beggar's ticks, tick clover (about 18 different species of the genus Desmodium are native to Missouri): Some Desmodium species are restricted to high quality, undisturbed prairies, and a few grow in wet lowland areas. Most others grow in acid soils of chert, sandstone or granite, or in rocky open woods. The species most often encountered in old fields is Desmodium paniculatum. Two common woodland and forest species are D. glutinosum and D. nudiflorum. Flat Desmodium fruits, usually occurring as a chain of several fruits, are covered with Velcro-like bristles. The fruits are eaten by wild turkey and bobwhite quail, and the leaves are browsed by deer and livestock. They are nutritious and high in protein.
  • Cleavers, bedstraw (Galium aparine): Native to Missouri, it grows throughout the state in forests, woods and other shady areas. The fruits are bristled and the stems are covered in tiny, coarse hairs that adhere to clothing or fur. The stems break off easily from the plant base and cling to mammal passersby.
  • Burdock (Arctium minus): Native to Europe, burdock grows throughout Missouri in disturbed areas like waste ground, woodlands, thickets and along railroads. Burdock can decrease the value of wool or other fur if its barbed fruits become entangled in it.
  • Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota): Native to Europe, Queen Anne's lace grows throughout Missouri in fields, degraded prairies, thickets, gravel bars and woodlands, and along roadsides and railroads. This is a biennial plant that blooms and produces bristled fruits in its second year of growth.
  • Spanish needles (several species in the genus Bidens): Native to Missouri, this grows in moist soil wetlands, along the edges of marshes and ponds and in open and grazed woods, glades, fields and thickets. The barbed fruits seem to jump onto clothing. Mallard ducks eat the fruits and muskrats eat the plants.
  • Cocklebur (several species in the genus Xanthium): Native and introduced species grow throughout Missouri along roadsides and railroads, in alluvial soil along streams, in fallow fields and around ponds. The indigestible parts of the spiny fruits can mat together in digestive systems of animals and eventually cause death.
  • Hedge parsley (Torilis arvensis): Introduced from Eurasia around 1900, hedge parsley is scattered throughout most of Missouri in woodlands and recently cleared areas, on alluvial ground and gravel bars and along roadsides and railroads. Their oval, bristled fruits attach easily to clothing or fur.
  • Agrimony (Agrimonia pubescens): Native to Missouri, agrimony grows throughout the state in swales in dry open or rocky woodlands, either in lowlands or uplands. A fringe or cap of bristles on the fruits enable them to adhere to fur or clothing.
  • Barnyard grass (species of the genus Echinochloa): Scattered throughout the state, barnyard grass grows along roadsides and in moist ditches on moist ground along fields, pastures, streams and ponds and in waste places. Needle-like awns on the fruits can attach to clothing and fur.
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