Native to North America and widespread across the continent.
Either a summer or winter annual, depending on the climate it occurs in. It is a climbing, mat-forming broadleaf that is able to attach to other plants by means of its short prickly hairs that cover the stems and leaves.
Reproduction is by seeds that will germinate at any time of the year except winter, in cool, moist conditions.
Mat forming and vinelike as it grows, often covering other plants with its dense systems of stems. Stems are square and with prickles on the ridges and the leaves, allowing it to cling to other plants.
Leaves are hairy on the upper surface, while the lower surface has short spiny hairs along the midrib. Leaves are in whorls of 6 to 8 at the nodes, and attach without stems. Leaf blades are narrow and elongate.
There is a very shallow and weak root system.
Flowers are produced from late spring into early summer, and occur as clusters of tiny flowers on stalks arising from the axils of the leaves. There are 4 white petals.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
A common weed in landscapes, nurseries, some crops and even turf, as well as many non-maintained habitats. It thrives best in moist, shaded areas, especially in soils high in organic matter and nutrients.