Agrimonia pubescens Wallr.
Family - Rosaceae
Habit - Perennial forb with both fibrous and tuberous-thickened roots.
Stems - To .75m tall, erect, herbaceous, simple to branching above, from short rhizomes and fibrous roots, densely pubescent with short and long hairs (the longer hairs typically ascending).
Leaves - Alternate, stipulate, pinnately divided, to +20cm long. Large leaflets oblanceolate to elliptic, coarse serrate, slightly scabrous above, pubescent below, to +/-7cm long, +/-4cm broad. Stipules foliaceous, serrate, to +/-2cm long, +/-1cm broad.
Inflorescence - Terminal spikiform racemes elongating in fruit to +30cm. Each flower subtended by small 3-lobed bract. Bracts and axis of inflorescence densely pubescent but not glandular.
Flowers - Petals 5, yellow, 2.5-3mm long, -2mm broad, elliptic. Stamens 10. Filaments glabrous, pale yellow to white, 1.2mm long. Anthers orange, .6mm broad. Styles (and pistils) 2, protruding from center of nectar ring, glabrous, .9mm long. Ovary concealed in hypanthium. Hypanthium turbinate, pubescent, 10-nerved, 1.1mm long(in flower), with ring of uncinate bristles subtending corolla. Bristles to 1mm long. Sepals 5, spreading, acute, 1.5mm long, 1.1mm broad, glabrous or with a few hairs at apex. Fruit an achene within the hypanthium.
Flowering - July - September.
Habitat - Dry rocky woods, ravines, floodbanks, thickets.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is one of the more common of the four species of Agrimonia that occur in Missouri. While fruiting, this little plant is likely to be overlooked in the field. The fruits, however, attach to all clothing and will certainly be noticed when you get home. They are a bit of a pain to pull from your apparel. The small flowers are actually quite easy to notice as they add a splash of light to the dark forest floor. The plant is found throughout Missouri and most of the eastern half of the U.S., as well as parts of Canada. It is very similar in appearance to A. rostellata, but can be distinguished from that species by having only pubescence, and not glandularity, along the inflorescence axis.
Photographs taken at the Sunklands Conservation Area, Shannon County, MO., 7-29-04 (DETenaglia); also at Canaan Conservation Area, Gasconade County, MO, 8-13-2013 (SRTurner).