What are the weeds that stick to your clothes?
Burs catch on the fur of passing animals or the clothing of people. The hooks or teeth generally cause irritation, and some species commonly cause gross injury to animals, or expensive damage to clothing or to vehicle tires. Burs serve the plants that bear them in two main ways.
Also Know, how do you get rid of hitchhiker weeds? An herbicide is relatively useless with chickweed, though, because although it may kill the plant, it will kill the plant only after its seeds have been spread throughout your lawn. Next year, you may be able to use an herbicide if you spot-spray it onto the plants as soon as you see them in the spring.
Similarly, what are those prickly weeds called?
Lawn burweed, also known as spurweed (Soliva sessilis), is a common turf weed easily identified by its low ferny foliage and sharp, spiny seed pods that ripen in late spring. Now is the time to spray this weed to prevent these prickly pods from forming.
What are the worst weeds?
From crab grass to bindweed to thistle, here are the best control strategies for North America’s worst garden weeds.
Plus, download a free poster to help you ID the 22 worst weeds (including 12 not discussed here).
- Crab Grass.
- Bermuda Grass.
- Ground Ivy.
- Canada Thistle.
Often remembered from childhood, goose grass or sticky willy has clinging hairs on its leaves, stem and seeds which stick to your clothes.
Annoying by design: The real reason burs cling to our clothes
Did you ever experience those uninvited tag-alongs that follow you wherever you go, and becomes so annoying, you have to say, “Get off my back, my legs, my pants, my shirt, my coat and my shoes?”
Unfortunately, while birding for migratory songbirds last week along an overgrown field, my haphazard adventures stumbled upon so many cling-ons that I had no choice but to become attached to these sticky seeds… literally.
One moment I was searching for birds with binoculars aimed high in the sky— then seconds later, I was staring down at my legs and shoes which were covered with hundreds of pesky hitchhikers attach to my clothing.
The bird watching immediately stopped as the next thirty minutes were spent meticulously picking Velcro-like seeds off from my clothing. There was no discrimination in my collection of bothersome burs, which predicated the need for an outdoor experiment. One-by-one, I plucked and pulled a seed off from my clothing and found a total of six species.
I then placed a collection of individual seeds onto the arm of my gray fleece jacket to determine which clingy seed species was the most difficult to remove.
Nature designed a good reason for this annoying dilemma. Plants have evolved to distribute their fertile seeds in many fascinating ways such as the billowy hairs of dandelion seeds which float in the air across fields and lawns; or the propeller-like design of the maple seeds that swirl away from the parent tree.
Hardy acorns, hickory nuts and black walnuts fall, bounce and roll away while the seeds of spotted touch-me-not and witch-hazel catapult out from the pressurized seed capsules.
Minuscule seeds of ragweed are wind-dispersed while the catkin seeds of birch disintegrate and fall to the ground like sprinkled pepper.
Other strategies in which plants evolved to have their seeds dispersed are the fruiting species, which rely on hungry animals such as birds, mammals and even turtles that eat the sweet fruits and in return are digested and deposited far distances away.
In my subjective opinion, the most aggravating strategy of seed dispersal are the clingy seeds that attach to fury and feathery animals, as well as clothed humans, which are inadvertently transported miles and miles away.
The design of these unique seeds developed hook-like barbs that penetrate fur and fabric exactly like Velcro. Some seeds latch onto clothing quite tightly and require effort to physically remove them, hence the reason of my self-inflicted experiment. The six species of sticky seeds that I purposely placed on the sleeve of my jacket and subsequently removed were burdock, beggar ticks, cocklebur, avens, stick-tights and agrimony.
Word to the wise: don’t become an oblivious adventurer such as me or you’ll have no choice but to get hooked on hitchhikers. Watch where you walk; especially with your pets. Know what plants to avoid; otherwise, you will be looking at hours spent preening, plucking and pulling bristly and bothersome burdocks and other clingy calamities off from your clothing or the fur of your pets.
The results of my pesky pickings are as follows from the easiest to remove to the most annoying:
An herbaceous perennial wildflower (Geum spp.) native to our region that produces small hooked achenes that can attached onto the fur of mammals, feathers of birds and to the clothing of humans. The seed heads look like a combed porcupine; however, the individual seeds have long achenes or barbs that penetrates soft clothing, which are not that difficult to remove. (Easy to remove.)
Agrimony is a dainty native wildflower found in the forested regions of the Poconos. There are several Agrimony (Agrimonia spp.) in our region which all produce tiny round seed balls similar in shape and size to BB’s. The small barbs on the seed heads easily latch onto clothing; especially socks which can be annoying to remove considering the small size of the seeds. (Easy to remove, but annoying.)
Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) is an alien invader found in old fields and backyard gardens. The large seed heads remind one of spiny miniature pickles. The seeds grasp onto fur and clothing quite easily but are cumbersome to remove considering the sharp spines on individual seeds. (Moderately annoying to remove due to sharp spines.)
The seeds of common burdock (Arctium minus) are some of the most recognizable and commonly encountered hitchhikers in the Poconos. Not only does this non-native weed have big, broad leaves but produces large clingy seed balls which easily latch onto clothing. The round seed balls strongly latch onto fabric similar to Velcro and often break apart leaving the smaller seeds fragments to be removed as well. (Difficult to remove; especially when firmly attached.)
Beggar ticks or Devil’s darning needles (Bidens spp.) come in several varieties. This native wildflower is often found growing in wetland environments. The brownish seeds resemble two-pronged pitchforks and easily attach into clothing when brushed against. Unfortunately, the seed clusters release hundreds of problems that embed into clothing, shoes and shoelaces. (Difficult, cumbersome and quite annoying to remove.)
The name “stick-tights” certainly applies to this native wildflower species. Another common name is tick trefoil (Desmodium spp.) refers to three parted leaves. Stick-tights inhabit deciduous forest, fields and roadsides. The seeds form short and wavy flat pods which often go unnoticeable attached onto clothing. The seeds cling firmly due to the seed flat structure, which makes it difficult to grasp onto and remove. The pesky seeds must be individually pried off with the help of long fingernails, and often stick to your fingers as you try to flick them off. (Difficult to remove due to the flat seed structure, and extremely annoying.)
Did you ever experience those uninvited tag-alongs that follow you wherever you go, and becomes so annoying, you have to say, “Get off my back, my legs, my pants, my shirt, my coat and my shoes?” Unfortunately, while birding for migratory songbirds last week along an overgrown field, my haphazard adventures stumbled upon so many cling-ons that I had no choice but to become attached to these sticky seeds… literally. One moment I was searching for birds with binoculars aimed