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European Stickseed - Lappula squarrosa
Family: Boraginaceae

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Description

Other names: Stick-tights, beggars-ticks, bur forget-me-not, and sheep-bur.

This plant is an erect annual plant. Its leaves are aranged alternately around the stem, and are linear to linear-oblanceolate in shape. The flowering stalk, or infloresence is a cyme, meaning that they may be arranged in pairs or along the branch tips. The cyme begins coilded and then becomes racem-like as it ages. The most distinguishing characteristic however, are the small blue flowers with 5 petals, 5 sepals and 5 stamens around a single pistil.

Interesting facts

European stickseed is not native to the United states. It was introduced from the eastern Mediterranean region around 1700. In fact it was first reported in Maryland in 1698 and reported to be common in Montreal by 1792 (Royer and Dickenson 1999).

People consider this plant an weedy species that warrants eradication because of its tendency of the seeds to spread by sticking to animal fur and human clothing. In particular it has caused problems for sheep farmers, whose stock gets the seeds stuck in their wool.


VIDEO


Links to more information

  1. Species account - A very detailed PDF of European stickseed with comments on its intrduction to Alaska.

  2. Herbicides used for European Stickseed - Managment information (ERDC)

  3. Two very nice pictures for ID - from a German Website, so its hard to read, but they are great for ID purposes


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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