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Native Plant Database

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Desmodium illinoense (Illinois ticktrefoil)
Anderson, Beth

Desmodium illinoense

Desmodium illinoense A. Gray

Illinois ticktrefoil, Illinois tick-trefoil

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Meibomia illinoensis

USDA Symbol: DEIL2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Usually 3 ft., but can become taller in favorable conditions. Spindly stems may be erect or trailing. Leaves are pinnately three-parted. A tall, spindly, hairy stem topped with a slender, elongated cluster of many white, purple, or lavender-pink pea flowers. Small, pea-like, pink to purple flowers. Flattened seedpods are covered with tiny, hooked hairs that cling to fur and clothing.

A showy plant when in flower, this species develops long fruits with segments that separate and attach themselves to clothing, thereby promoting seed dispersal.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AR , IA , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , NE , OH , OK , SD , TX , WI
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: OH, s. MI, s.e. MN & s.e. SD, s. to e. TX
Native Habitat: Mesic to moist fields; prairie ravines; hillsides; open woods; roadsides

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils

Propagation

Description: Sow untreated or cold-moist stratified seed. All legume seed should be inoculated.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Mix seeds with equal amounts of moist sand and refrigerate in sealed bag 10 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Desmodium illinoense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Desmodium illinoense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Desmodium illinoense

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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