What are stickers?

I just had a discussion with my fellow IT workers, and I just dropped a southernism they don't recognize. I stopped to think about it for a second or two, and realized that I don't know the 'real' name for what I'm describing.

Growing up in Arkansas, we were careful about where in the yard we went barefoot, because there was a certain type of grass we called 'stickers.' It was grass, but it has small but definite thornlike parts, and they stuck in your skin (thus the name) and made it very uncomfortable to walk barefoot on grass.

Anyone know the real name of what I'm describing?

Comments

Sounds like what we used to call burrs.

Sounds like a "Southernism" because we just don't grow man-eatin' grass up dere in da Midwest, hey. We had burdock and burrs, but no foot-eating grass.

sounds like what we call bindies - oouuuch....

I think it's crabgrass. At least, that's what my father (a bona-fide Yankee) calls it.

I think it's something called a sandbur or grassbur - the damn things were the bane of my existence as a kid. They were perfectly acceptable to bare feet until the seeds ripened - then, WHAMMO...sharp little thorns that jabbed with all the accuracy of a pissed off wasp. Nasty *shudder*.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:Introduced summer annuals, to 0.6 m tall, with loose spikes (racemes) of spiny burs at maturity. Field sandbur is annual in CA, but can be biennial or perennial elsewhere. Plants provide good forage for livestock before burs develop. However, bur spines are stiff and can injure the mouths of animals and the hands and feet of people working in infested crops, orchards, or vineyards. Field and longspine sandburs are similar and difficult to distinguish

SPIKELETS/FLORETS:Spikelets (1-8) enclosed by fused, spiny bracts that form a bur. Racemes of burs loosely spike-like, terminal. Main flowering axis (rachis) wavy. Burs disperse as units. Upper leaves sometimes partially enclose the lower burs. Spikelets consist of 2 florets. Only the upper floret is fertile.

southern sandbur: October. Bracts (spines) 40-60. Lower bracts with slender, flexible spines and clearly in a single whorl. Upper bract spines stiff. Racemes 3-8 cm long.
field sandbur: July-September. Bracts (spines) 8-40. Lower bracts not clearly whorled. All spines stiff. Longest bract usually less than 5 mm long. Fertile florets generally 4-6 mm long.
longspine sandbur: July-September. Resembles field sandbur, except bracts (spines) greater than 40 (50) and longest bract usually greater than 5 mm long. Fertile florets mostly 6-8 mm long.

We call these sand spurs. The very best way to get rid of them is to move!!

March 27, 2008