Stickseed (3)

Stickseeds, the genus Lappula, are appropriately named for their seeds that are a tiny, prickly cluster of nutlets with barbs, hooked spines, that cling to clothing and fur. Both stems and leaves of Stickseeds are covered in hairs. Flowers are white or pale blue and barely ¼" across. It has been difficult to find a definitive key of this genus but these appear to me to be different.

Lappula occidentalis

Flatspine Stickseed
Lappula occidentalis var. occidentalis (L. redowskii )

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Stickseed, Western Stickseed, Flat-spine Sheepburr,
Photo taken on: June 3, 2006
Location: Almont Triangle, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Dry meadows, disturbed soil

Grows to 16" with many tiny, blue flowers, ¼" across. Flowers grow in clusters which elongate to spikes at maturity. The nutlet has barbs separated in a single straight line.

Lappula occidentalis

Flatspine Stickseed
Lappula occidentalis var. cupulata (L. texana)

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Cupseed Stickseed, White Stickseed
Photo taken on: April 29, 2014
Location: Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Dry meadows, disturbed soil

Grows 6" to 24" high with narrow leaves. The barbs are joined at their base forming a cup. 

Lappula squarrosa

European Stickseed
Lappula squarrosa (L. echinata)

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Bluebur, Bristly Sheepbur, Bur Forget-me-not,
 Spiny Stickseed

Photo taken on: June 25, 2014
Location: Walsenburg Airfield, Eastern CO
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Disturbed soil, waste places

Grows with a hairy, erect stem and long, bending branches over 2ft tall. Leaves are lance-shaped or oblong, 1-2" long. Flowers are tiny, ⅛" across, with five pale blue to white lobes. Bracts are leaf-like. The fruit is a nutlet covered in long, painful barbs in two or three rows, Flatspine Stickseed has barbs in one row.

White/Cream Round Clusters | Blue/Purple Single Flowers