Desmodium cuspidatum is a perennial herb to 2 m tall, stem stout; stipules lance-shaped, to 1.7 cm long.
Leaves alternate, 3-parted, leaf stalk to 8 cm long, terminal leaflet to 14 cm long, 6 cm wide, egg-shaped, tip sharply long-pointed, lateral leaflets narrower, bright green above waxy-pale below.
Flowers pink, pea-flower-shaped, to 0.8 cm; blooms July-Aug.
Fruit dry, hairy, jointed between seeds, 3-7 segments, to 1 cm long, 0.5 cm wide, rhomboidal, somewhat rounded above, slightly pointed below.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Dry woods.