Weeds of Wednesday: Loment Lament

Loment is botanical term for a string of seeds that separate on some species of plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. Most folks are not fond of loments, but they are a very effective dispersal mechanism.

At the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) Clean-up on January 7, 2021, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory student Kristin Sloyer remarked that her least favorite plant was beggarweeds. The loments of this plant, shown below, spread by sticking themselves onto clothes and hair …

Zarzabacoa (Desmodium incanum) is the most common species at the ORCA. This species is not native and can be quite weedy. Florida is home to 24 species of Desmodium, most of which are native and have limited ranges.

Also known as creeping beggarweed, Spanish clover, and Spanish tick-trefoil, this plant has distinctive silvery markings along the midrib of its trifoliate leaves.

Zarzabacoa is native to central and south America. It is widespread throughout warm climates where it once was promoted as a forage crop. Seed set is 50% in the laboratory without the presence of pollinators.

FYI: Laundering your clothes often fails to remove loments, even after repeated washings. Hand-removal is usually necessary. Dispose of your moments in a responsible manner, please.

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