STICKSEED
File Size: 76 KB
 
Hackelia virginiana   (L. ) I.M. Johnst.
Geary County, Kansas
Biennial
Height: 16-60 inches
Family: Boraginaceae - Borage Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August, September
Also Called: Virginia stickseed, begger's lice.
Stems: Erect, usually solitary, branched above mid-point, coarse-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate and basal; basal leaves smaller than stem leaves, usually absent at flowering; lower stem leaves stalked, elliptic to ovate, 1 to 12 inches long, 1 to 4 inches wide; veins 3-7, conspicuous; tip pointed; base narrowed to stalk; upper leaves sessile, progressively narrower; tip pointed to long sharply-pointed.
Inflorescences: Cymes, usually paired, spreading, 2 to 6 inches long, terminal on branches; elongating into spike-like false racemes.
Flowers: Sepals 5, lanceolate, 1/25 to 1/12 inch long, bristly-hairy; corolla 1/12 to 1/8 inch wide, 5-lobed, white to rarely pale blue, barely exceeding sepals; small appendages in throat; stamens 5.
Fruits: Nutlets, 4, collectively spherical, about 1/12 to 1/8 inch long, outer surface bristly; fruiting stalks 1/12 to 2/5 inch long, turned downward.
Habitat: Woods, thickets, stream banks, roadsides; dry to moist soils.
Distribution: East 4/5 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans boiled the roots and used the liquid as a wash for itches and mixed the crushed root with bear oil to create an ointment for cancer. The plant was also used to enhance memory, as a love charm, and to repel insects from potatoes.

Stickseed flower
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Stickseed fruit
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Stickseed leaves
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Stickseed stem
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