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Annuals.  Stems are often bent at the nodes, branching from near the base, nearly glabrous below, becoming more densely pubescent toward the summit, with very short, appressed hairs.  Typical height is 2 to 3+ ft. (6 to 9+ dm), sometimes taller.

Flower heads are discoid, unisexual.  Carpellate (female) and staminate (male) heads occur on the same plant, in clusters, staminate heads located above carpellate heads.  Carpellate florets are 2 per head, lacking corollas; at maturity, enclosed within a bur.  Staminate heads are deciduous at maturity, their florets are greenish.

Plants of river or pond shores, coastal beaches, salt marshes and waste places.  Flowers August through September.  Native.

Our plants are:  Xanthium strumarium var. canadense (P. Mill.) Torr. & Gray

 

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Note:  This species is related to the ragweeds (Ambrosia spp.).

 

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