Desmodium illinoense A. Gray
Illinois ticktrefoil, Illinois tick-trefoil
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Synonym(s): Meibomia illinoensis
USDA Symbol: deil2
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AR , IA , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , NE , OH , OK , SD , TX , WI
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 ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: 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
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Bibliography* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Desmodium illinoense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Desmodium illinoense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Desmodium illinoense
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff