Hackelia virginiana

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Stickseed, Virginia Stickseed, Beggar's Lice, Sticktight
    Synonyms: Lappula virginiana, Myosotis virginiana
    Lifespan: Biennial
    Zones: N/A
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: June - September
    Status: Native

Hackelia virginiana, or Stickseed, is native to the central and eastern United States. It grows in open woods, thickets and waste ground. It is a biennial, or annual - sometimes it comes up the season before and overwinters as a rosette.

There are many species of Hackelia in the United States, but almost all of them are confined to the Western United States. This species, and another like it, Hackelia deflexa, have an eastern distribution. This trait alone narrows down the ID to these two species. To distinguish further, the flowers of Hackelia virginiana are white, while those of Hackelia deflexa are blue. Additionally, Hackelia deflexa has smaller, narrower leaves and typically blooms earlier in the season than Hackelia virginiana, and it also has a difference in its seeds - they have spines only on the outer edges, whereas Hackelia virginiana has spines on the entire seed.

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