USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 401.
Where Commonly Found: River or stream floodplains, forest edges, forests, meadows, fields, shores of rivers or lakes, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Desmodium canadense,
Missouri Botanical Garden description of Desmodium canadense. Click on more images.
Flower Color: Rose-lavender-purple
Flower Type: Bilateral, pea-like, terminal flowers ,1/4″ or more long, in nodding, dense, long racemes, .
Flower Time: Mid-June to late July.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate leaves. Legume, erect, bushy, hairy plant with downy stem.
Leaf Type: Compound, 3 leaflets, 2 – 3-1/2″” long, with short petiole, lancelet, obtuse or short-pointed at tip, covered in velvety hair on underside of leaf, leaf edge is entire. Stems is hairy, often striated with purplish lines.
Seed Head: Chain-like pods with 3-5 joints, break into 1″ long segments, very sticky with hooks when mature that cling to clothes and animal fur. Each segment contains a small olive green to tan bean, about 1/8″ long.
Seed Collection: Remove pods as soon as they mature light brown, store in cool, dry place.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Larval Host, Hummingbirds, Birds
Light: Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 2 to 7 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Dry to Moist
Notes: We most know Showy Tick Trefoil for the seeds that stick to our cloths and pets, but is beautiful and good for pollinators and birds and just beautiful, really.
Native to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).
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