Cocklebur; Clotbur flowers
Xanthium strumarium glabrum /Aster Family
Height: 1-6 feet
September 18, 2005
Anyone with a long-haired dog who has had a close encounter with the seeds of this plant will not soon forget it! These hooked seeds are said to be precursor of the wonderful invention called "Hook and Loop Fastener" (a.k.a. Velcro tm. ). This is another of those weird monoecious Composites! The male (staminate) flowers are the little off-white clusters, the female (pistillate) flowers are the burs. The burs contain the seeds which are spread by animals. The seeds and seedlings are poisonous to swine, rodents, cattle, and humans, they contain the toxin carboxyatractyloside.
Where seen: widespread
Formerly known as: Xanthium chinense