Showy Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canadense


Other Names:
Canada Tick Trefoil, Canada Tick Clover

Showy Tick Trefoil is native to the eastern half of North America, except for the southeastern United States. It is not very common in Virginia, which is at the south end of its range in the eastern United States. It is in the legume family, along with peas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Showy Tick Trefoil grows in woods, prairies, and disturbed habitat, such as roadsides, and it is cultivated as an ornamental plant. Bees pollinate the plant, and weevils, beetles, flies, bugs, thrips and other insects eat the foliage. It is a larval host plant for butterflies such as the Eastern Tailed-blue, Silver-spotted Skipper, and Hoary Edge. Small rodents eat the seeds.

Identification Tools

Illinois Wildflowers Friends of the Wildflower Garden Go Botany


North America Virginia

Canada Tick Trefoil
Patch of Showy Tick Trefoil in bloom and seed

Canada Tick Trefoil
Showy Tick Trefoil seedpods

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