soft agrimony

(Agrimonia pubescens)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Soft agrimony is an erect, up to 40 tall, perennial forb that rises usually on a single stem from short rhizomes and fibrous roots.

The stems are stout and round in cross-section. They are densely covered with both short, curved hairs and long, straight, ascending hairs. They do not have glandular hairs.

The leaves are alternate and pinnately divided into up to an odd number of leaflets. The largest leaves have 5 to 13 primary leaflets. Between each pair of primary leaflets there is another, much smaller pair of secondary leaflets. At the base of each compound leaf is a pair of leaf-like appendages (stipules). The stipules are egg-shaped to kidney-shaped, up to ¾ long and wide, and coarsely but regularly toothed. They do not have an elongated lobe or tooth at the tip.

The leaflets are lance egg-shaped, up to 2¾ long, up to 1½ wide, 1½ to 2 times as long as wide, and conspicuously veined. The upper surface is hairless, sparsely hairy, or rough to the touch due to minute, stiff hairs. The lower surface velvety to the touch with and densely covered with strongly spreading hairs. Glandular hairs, if present, are inconspicuous and hidden by the longer, velvety hairs. The margins are coarsely toothed.

The inflorescence is a spike-like, unbranched cluster (raceme) of many flowers at the end of the stem. The flowers are well spaced along the raceme. The central axis of the raceme (rachis) is densely covered with fine, short, ascending hairs and. There are no glands on the rachis. The inflorescence elongates in fruit.

The flowers are about ¼ in diameter. There are 5 overlapping green sepals, 5 yellow petals, and 5 to 15 stamens. The hypanthium is top-shaped and conspicuously grooved. There is a stripe of white, appressed hairs in the grooves. There are two or more rows of 1 32long, hooked bristles on the outer rim. The bristles are mostly ascending or erect.

The fruit is 1 or 2 achenes concealed within the hypanthium.




Up to 40


Flower Color




Similar Species


Common agrimony (Agrimonia gryposepala) largest leaves have no more than 9 primary leaflets. The rachis is conspicuously covered with gland-tipped hairs as well as scattered, long, spreading hairs. There is no stripe of appressed hairs in the grooves of the fruit. The bristles on the rim of the hypanthium are longer, up to long. The outer bristles are widely spreading or bent backward.

Roadside agrimony (Agrimonia striata) lower leaf surface is not velvety—it is smooth or rough to the touch; sparsely covered with more or less appressed hairs, especially along the veins; and conspicuously dotted with glands. The stipules of the middle stem leaves have an elongated, lance-shaped lobe or tooth at the tip. The inflorescence is short and densely packed.


Dry. Woodland edges and openings, trailsides, thickets. Partial sun.




July to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 4, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  


Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Rosoideae (brambles, roses, strawberries, and allies)  
  Tribe Agrimonieae (agrimonies and burnets)  
  Subtribe Agrimoniinae  


Agrimonia (agrimonies)  

NCBI places the subtribe Agrimoniinae in the tribe Sanguisorbeae. However, according to Flora of North America, the tribal name Agrimonieae has priority over the name Sanguisorbeae.


Subordinate Taxa






Agrimonia bicknellii

Agrimonia eupatoria var. mollis

Agrimonia mollis

Agrimonia mollis var. bicknellii


Common Names


downy agrimony


hairy agrimony

roadside agrimony

soft agrimony

soft groovebur










A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A cup-like tubular structure of a flower formed from the fused bases of sepals, petals, and stamens, that surrounds the pistil. Its presence is diagnostic of many families, including Rosaceae, Ribes, and Fabaceae.



On a compound leaf, having the leaflets arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk. On a bryophyte, having branches evenly arranged on opposite sides of a stem.



An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.



The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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