The desmodiums, of which there are many species, are distinguished by their jointed pods, which are, mostly, straight on the upper margin, scalloped on the lower. They are covered with bristly hooks, by which they are caught in the hair or fleece of animals and widely scattered. One's feminine skirts are often the medium of such dissemination, much to one's annoyance after a walk in the woods in early fall.
All these plants have purple corollas, generally rough stems, and variable, 3-foliate leaves.
The D. nudiflorum bears racemes of pedicelled flowers on, generally, leafless scapes 2 feet high. The 3-foliate leaves are numerous on the end of a flowerless stem, attended by bristly stipules. Pod raised on a stalk longer than the pedicels. One of the most common species. Dry woods in all the Eastern States.
D. rotundifolium has round leaflets. The racemes of deep-purple flowers appear, with the leaves, in the axils and on the ends of branches. Stems, prostrate and softly hairy. Both margins of the pod strongly wavy or scalloped.