Desmodium nudiflorum (L.) DC.
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Synonym(s): Meibomia nudiflora
USDA Symbol: DENU4
Perennial bearing one to three clusters of long-petiolate trifoliate leaves on an upright to lax stem to about 12 inches in length. An upright leafless scape emerges near the base of the stem and ascend to about 3 feet in height and bears a raceme of pale pink or lavender flowers in mid- to late-summer. Fruits are loments covered in short, hook-shaped hairs which aid in seed dispersal by clinging to the hair of passing animals and also human clothing.
This species flowers are sweetly fragrant and are visited by many bees and other nectarivorous insects. It is a nitrogen-fixing species through symbiosis with soil-borne nodulating rhizobia. This, and other species of Desmodium produce insect repellant antixenotic allomones. It also utilizes exozoochory, a propagule dispersal syndrome, utilizing the fur of passing animals to spread its seeds.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Trifoliate
Leaf Shape: Deltoid , Oval , Ovate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Fruit Type: Loment
Size Notes: Two to four feet in height.
Leaf: Leaves are deltoid in shape overall with three trifoliate leaves arranged at the end of the stem. Leaflets are lanceolate-ovate to oval in shape.
Flower: Pale pink pea-flowers.
Fruit: Fruit a 1-4 (usually 2-3) seeded loment with hooked hairs.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowers usually pale pink or lavender in color.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: The Mississippi River Valley and across the eastern US southern Ontario, Canada.
Native Habitat: Mature, open, deciduous mesic woodlands, on rich loamy or sandy soils.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, gravelly or loamy soil with high organic content.
Conditions Comments: Prefers open woodlands in mature hardwood forests.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Desmodium nudiflorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Desmodium nudiflorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Desmodium nudiflorum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2018-05-01
Research By: TWC Staff