Sensitive Briar

Botanical Name Schrankia nuttallii
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period May-September
Flower Color Pink

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A perennial legume, sensitive briar can be found growing in roadsides, prairies, pastures and forest edges throughout the Midwest United States. Growing 1-3 feet in height, this briar has long stems that are covered in prickly hairs to detour predation, even though cattle and deer still seek it out as forage. The bright pink/purple globe shaped inflorescences are easily recognizable at the end of the leafless stalks from May-September. Sensitive briar is known for its reaction of folding up its leaflets as a defense mechanism. This reaction can occur when touched by a grazer, in a heavy wind, or at night.

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