Slightly Aggravating

When I visited Jennings Prairie a week ago it took me a while to remember the name of this plant.

The flower spike is interesting but the flowers are unspectacular: small, five-petaled, yellow.

However, the leaves stand out because they’re so odd with small leaflets wedged between larger ones on the stem.

By examining the leaves I remembered this plant is slightly aggravating.  When it goes to seed the pods have burs that stick to your clothing.

The seeds are “aggravating” and that sounds almost like “agrimony.”

Small flowered agrimony.

I wish I had a mnemonic for the leaves.

(photos by Kate St. John)

1 thought on “Slightly Aggravating

  1. Small flowered agrimony is Agrimonia parviflora. In latin Parvus means small, little, minute, minuscule. The flowers are a little smaller than other species of Agrimony, hence the small flowered.

    Maybe this is a stretch, but the leaflets of this species could be looked at as a “small” ladder. Or it has many “small” leaflets between the larger ones. The other Agrimony species have compound leaves with small leaflets between the main ones, but not as many.

    At one point in time, I used to joke that this plant (Agrimony species) is the bad marriage plant. Aggravating matrimony, hence Agrimony. I had some burs sticking to my socks after a walk yesterday – it was aggravating trying to remove them.

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