This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Herbs, or in tropical regions shrubs, mainly with odd-pinnate leaves, those of many species sensitive to the touch, and yellow flowers in axillary panicles or racemes. Calyx-teeth nearly equal, more or less united into 2 lips. Standard orbicular, short-clawed; wings oblong or obliquely obovate, about as long as the standard; keel curved. Stamens diadelphous (5 and 5); anthers all alike. Ovary stipitate; ovules 2-00. Pod stalked in the calyx, flat, jointed. [Greek, to be ashamed, referring to the sensitive leaves.]
About 55 species, widely distributed in warm and tropical regions. Besides the following, another occurs in the southern states. Type species: Aeschynomene áspera L.
Hedysarum virginicum L. Sp. Pl. 750. 1753.
Aeschynomene hispida Willd. Sp. Pl. 3: 1163. 1800.
Aeschynomene virginica B.S.P. Prel. Cat. N. Y. 13. 1888.
Annual, herbaceous, branched, erect, rough-pubescent or glabrate, 2°-5° high. Stipules membranous, ovate, acuminate, 3"-4" long, deciduous; leaves short-petioled; leaflets 25-55, oblong, linear-oblong or ob-lanceolate, obtuse at the apex, narrowed or rounded at the base, 3"-9" long; somewhat sensitive; flowers few, racemose, reddish-yellow, about 5" long; petals veined; pod linear, 1'-21/2' long, 3" wide, sparingly tuberculate or glabrous, of 5-10 nearly square easily separable joints.