Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 5: 173. 1835. (as betonicaefolia)
Herbs or subshrubs, 2–5 dm. Stems erect to trailing, green to whitish green, apex never flexuous. Leaves: petiole 10–40 mm; blade triangular-lanceolate to triangular-ovate, 1.5–6 × 1–3.5 cm, base cordate to truncate, margins serrate, apex acute. Inflorescences terminal (often appearing leaf-opposed), glands absent, staminate flowers 15–80 per raceme, distally clustered; staminate bracts 1–2 mm. Pedicels: staminate 0.7–1 mm, persistent base 0.3–0.6 mm, shorter than subtending bract; pistillate 3–4 mm in fruit. Staminate flowers: sepals 3–4, green, sometimes red-tinged, 1.2–2.3 mm; stamens 3(–4), filaments 0.4–1 mm. Pistillate flowers: sepals lanceolate, 1.8–5 mm; styles connate 1/3 length; stigmas papillate. Capsules 7–9 mm wide. Seeds dark brown with light brown streaks, 3–4 mm.
Phenology: Flowering late spring–summer; fruiting summer–fall.
Habitat: Dry, sandy soils, disturbed fields, prairies, open woods.
Elevation: 0–400 m.
Ala., Ark., Kans., La., Miss., Mo., Okla., Tenn., Tex., Va.
Plants of Tragia betonicifolia resemble those of T. urticifolia but differ in the greater number of branches from the root crowns, the shorter length of the persistent staminate flower pedicel bases, the longer, narrower pistillate sepals, and the distally clustered arrangement of the staminate flowers.