Desmodium canadense (Showy Tick Trefoil)

Showy Tick Trefoil is a stunningly beautiful member of the the Bean Family. I love the intense pink-purple coloring of the inflorescences. If you have ever taken your dog for a walk in the park you may have encountered Showy Tick Trefoil seedpods (loments) that are perfectly designed to attach themselves to an animal or our clothing as their dispersal mechanism. I would have to give these little loments a 9 of 10 for effectiveness and a 10 of 10 for frustration factor of picking them off your canine or clothing.

The Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family are better known as beans, peas and legumes. They include species that have been a staple of humans for thousands of years. Personally, I can live without them as my friends will tell you.

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2018, ©️ Some rights reserved

Tick trefoil leaves are compound with three leaflets that are oblong, slightly narrower at the tip and about as long as your thumb. The leaflets are attached to the stem by a short stipule that I show in the next picture. This is a distinguishing feature from its southern cousin, Desmodium illinoense, which a much longer stipules.

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2018, ©️ Some rights reserved

Desmodium can be a great addition to a natural garden because they attract birds and butterflies with their showy flowers. They are some what drought and deer resistant.

Photo by Stewart Nelson, 2018, ©️ Some rights reserved

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