The plant known as Illinois Bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis) derives its common name from its densely packed, somewhat frowzy puffball-like heads. Like the so-called powderpuff plant (Mimosa strigillosa), another member of the Fabaceae (pea family) which blooms with pink, ball-shaped flowers, bundleflower foliage is sensitive, wilting temporarily to control temperature and moisture levels and folding together when touched.
A nitrogen-fixing legume with a high protein content, the plant performs a dual service, enriching soils even as it provides nutrition for the birds, deer, antelope, and rodents that favor its seeds. Quite common across a large swath of the country, it thrives in a variety of soils and growing conditions.
While its flowers aren’t exactly show-stoppers, I’ve always found its seed pods compelling. Initially sickle-shaped, they provide their own sort of bloom as they open to release their seeds, remain intact well into winter, and make a lovely addition to dried arrangements.