06132010 bradmangas MG 5174

© Brad Mangas

Another perennial from the bean family. Catclaw Sensitive Briar. A sprawling low growing plant that I must say found a little difficult to photography.

The stems are covered in hooked prickles giving it it’s catclaw part of the name and when you gently touch any of the foliage it will quickly close up in what appears to be a type of defense posture, hence the sensitive part.  A very cool wildflower indeed covering most of Kansas.

The flowers which are very tiny are actually located on the ends of the stamen which makes up the bulk of the blossom.

Livestock find this very desirable and it’s presence is usually diminished in over grazed prairies.