Native to North America, and found primarily along coastal shore areas. It occurs in all states along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, north to Alaska, and inland in states surrounding the Great Lakes.
Annual to perennial plants, this native plant is common on beaches and in coastal sand dunes. It can grow rapidly, and along coastal roadways may grow to a size that interferes with visibility or roadside access. Otherwise, these large plants have value in retention of sand soils with their large root system. Reproduction is from seeds.
Plants generally are prostrate and mat-forming, but may grow up through other vegetation to be almost shrub-like. Stems grow out to a diameter of 4 feet or more. The leaves are lance-shaped and compound pinnate, divided into leaflets that are alternate along the central vein, and these leaflets divided again into deep lobes that themselves are lobed or toothed. The white to violet flowers occur in small clusters at the ends of the stems, and as the seed pods mature on the stem it continues to elongate to produce new flowers at the tip. The seed pods are large and swollen, with usually 9 seeds in them.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Not normally needing control, but where it is growing in an undesirable location it can be killed with a systemic or contact herbicide and physically removed.