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Xanthium strumarium

Photo © Franco Folini
Photo © Franco Folini

These photos are hosted at Wikimedia. License Information: cc-by-sa 2.5 license

FRUIT: Barrel-shaped bur with hooked spines.

FLOWER: Male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers cluster into separate heads. These compound heads are arranged into a spike with the males above towards the tip, and females below (developing into burs).

PERENNIAL HERB: Long lived annual or perennial; above ground portions mostly entirely herbaceous. Stems appear reddish.

LEAVES: Palmate leaves usu. have three main lobes and margins variably toothed.

RANGE: In the Sonoran Desert this plant is often classified as a weed and is fairly common along washes and near agricultural ditches.

UNARMED. The burs have sharp, barbed prickles that can sometimes trap small birds.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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