This plant was found in woodland in Connecticut, in the northeastern USA. It is about 2.5 feet tall (75 cm) and has a string of seed heads the size of small capers growing along a single stem. The seeds and stems are very sticky and attach themselves to clothing or dog fur; when pulled, the stems break away from the seeds leaving them firmly attached.

What is this plant?

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3 Answers 3


I think what you have here is Hackelia virginiana Virginia Stickseed. Also called Beggar's Lice (plants with burs get all kinds of fun names). The clinging seeds as well as the way they carry them on the stem matches up. Also of interest, the wiki page on the plant notes that the stem of the plant usually dies and dries up first so usually the stem snaps off the plant, rather than off the seed first. Several other Hackelia species are similar, but only Virginiana is native to the Eastern US, all the rest are out West in the Rocky Mountains.


Looks like a Vetch...need to see closeups of leaves and flowers or what do you remember the flowers to look like/color?

  • 1
    Can't be - vetches are fabaceae (legumes), meaning the seeds are in pods, not on a stem.
    – Stephie
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 23:24

Enchanted night shade as it sticks. It is not beggars tick or beggars lice which has an arrow shaped seed with 2 sticky prongs. Vetch is more like a fuzzy bean pod. ENS is much more of a pain to remove from clothing

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