Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stickseed Seeds Stick Around

This was one of my sharings at a December meeting of Procrastinators Anonymous--workpants so intimidatingly covered with stickseed burs that they remained in a heap in the basement for four months. My mind of big ideas resisted this nit pick picking project until winter slowed me down.

Stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) is deceptive in multiple ways. In the borage family, it starts out in the summer looking like a classy plant with ornamental possibilities. But its flowers turn out to be tiny, and instead of reaching some point of mature beauty, it fades into the background and sets a trap. The leaves dry up, leaving only a delicate frame that holds aloft hundreds of burrs through fall and winter. I've learned to keep an eye out for this plant, lest I become yet again an unwitting disseminator of its seeds.

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