Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This biennial plant forms a rosette of leaves during the first year. During the second year, it becomes a rather lanky plant about 2-4' tall that branches occasionally. The stems have abundant white hairs; the lower central stem is often ribbed. The basal and lower leaves are up to 6" long and 3½" across; they are cordate-ovate or ovate with petioles up to 2" long. The upper leaves are lanceolate to elliptic and sessile, otherwise they are similar to the lower leaves. All leaves have smooth (entire) and slightly ciliate margins. The upper leaf surface is dark green and sparsely covered with short stiff hairs, while the lower leaf surface is medium green and more hairy, especially along the major veins. Both the lower and upper leaves alternate along the stems. The upper stems terminate in flowering racemes about 4-12" long; sometimes shorter racemes or individual flowers develop from the axils of the upper leaves. The stalks (peduncles) of these racemes are pubescent or hairy, and small leafy bracts may develop underneath some of the flowers. The pedicels of the flowers are pubescent or hairy and up to ¼" (6 mm.) in length. Each flower is about 1/8" (3 mm.) across, consisting of 5 petals and a pubescent green calyx with 5 slender teeth. The petals are white and well-rounded; less often, they are light blue. The blooming period occurs during the summer, lasting about 2-3 months. Only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time and they are fairly inconspicuous. The flowers are replaced by prickly subgloboid fruits (about 4-6 mm. across) that hang downward from short slender pedicels (one fruit per flower). Hooked prickles densely cover the surfaces of these fruits. The fruits are initially whitish green, but later they later become brown. Each fruit contains 4 nutlets. The root system consists of a taproot. This plant spreads by reseeding itself; it occasionally forms colonies. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Stickseed is common in central and northern Illinois, and locally common to absent in the southern section of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, powerline clearances in wooded areas, thickets, and shady fence rows. Stickseed prefers disturbed wooded areas and it is rather weedy. This plant sometimes occurs in wooded areas where there has been a recent fire, as well as degraded wooded areas that are subjected to occasional grazing by cattle. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Stickseed is common in central and northern Illinois, and locally common to absent in the southern section of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, powerline clearances in wooded areas, thickets, and shady fence rows. Stickseed prefers disturbed wooded areas and it is rather weedy. This plant sometimes occurs in wooded areas where there has been a recent fire, as well as degraded wooded areas that are subjected to occasional grazing by cattle. Faunal Associations
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Stickseed in Illinois

Hackelia virginiana (Stickseed)
(Insects suck nectar; observations are from Robertson)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Halictus confusus, Lasioglossum imitatus, Lasioglossum versatus

Flies
Syrphidae: Syritta pipiens fq

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Hackelia virginiana

Hackelia virginiana, commonly known as beggar's lice,[1][2] sticktight or stickseed,[2] is a biennial plant native to Eastern North America. It has simple, rough leaves and ribbed green stems.

The flowers are small and white, bourne in mid-late summer.[3] The seeds are burs, and are very sticky. The seeding part of the plant -- the upper stem -- dies earlier than mos other plants, and becomes very brittle. Often the entire seed stem, or even the entire plant will come out of the ground if the seeds catch on clothing or fur, so it is generally considered to be a pest plant. These are some of the smaller "tick seeds" in its range, and the seeds can burrow deep within certain clothing, such as socks.

During the plant's first year of growth it has only a basal rosette of foliage, with the flowering stalk ascending the second year. The leaves are dark green and irregularly shaped.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Hackelia virginiana (beggarslice) | USDA PLANTS". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Hackelia virginiana: UW-Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium: Plant Details Page". Wisplants.uwsp.edu. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  3. ^ "Stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)". Illinoiswildflowers.info. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 


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