Today’s featured plant won’t win any popularity contests. In fact, I know people who rip Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) out of the ground as soon as they identify it anywhere on their property.
This common woodland species, sometimes just called stickseed, has unimpressive flowers that become irritating burs. The burs spawned the common names beggar’s lice or sticktight. I don’t pull up these plants like I do with garlic mustard, but I keep an eye out for them so my shoes, clothes, and dog don’t end up covered in burs.
Virginia stickseed is native to most of the U.S. and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. I frequently see it in the woods or near woodland edges. According to the Illinois Wildflowers site, “Stickseed prefers disturbed wooded areas and it is rather weedy.”
I took the pictures enclosed below in Windsor Heights, Clive, or Urbandale.