Etymology: Desmodium: Greek meaning "long branch or chain," probably from the shape and the way the seedpods attach
Plants: erect, perennial, 3'-6' tall forb, branching toward the top
Leaves: 3-parted, on stalks up to 3/4" long and up to half as long as the end leaflet
Flowers: purple to pink, 5-parted, 1/3"-1/2" long, stalked; inflorescence a branched, dense cluster (panicle) of several, spike-like clusters (racemes) with obvious small, leaf-like bracts beneath; blooms July-Aug.
Fruits: flat pod, slightly curving, divided into triangular segments that are covered with clinging, hooked hairs,
Habitat: moist to wet; thickets, streambanks
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 4, Wetland Indicator = FAC- Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key