- A native to tropical America, Khaki weed colonises bare or disturbed areas, and occasionally native pastures.
- Though deep taproots enable it to survive drought conditions, the plant needs plentiful moisture for vigorous growth; hence it grows well on irrigated recreational areas. Sharp spines of burr, a great annoyance.
- A ground creeping perennial herb, with a thick tap root.
- Prolific reddish stems to 60 cm long in thick mats on the ground. Roots form at stem nodes.
- Numerous hairy leaves in opposite pairs of unequal size, oval or ovate, short stalked, prominent veins on underside.
- Flowers inconspicuous in clusters in leaf axils.
- Fruit is a chaff-coloured prickly burr about 1 cm long.