DESMODIUM canadense (Showy Tick Trefoil) is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the pea family (Fabaceae) native to North America. It is found throughout most of the United States and Canada, as well as in parts of Mexico and Central America.
The plant typically grows to be 2-5 feet tall and has leaves that are divided into three leaflets, each up to 4 inches long. The showy tick trefoil produces large clusters of pink to purplish flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall. The flowers are visited by a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.
The plant gets its common name from the small, flat seeds that are covered in tiny, hooked hairs that can easily attach to clothing or animal fur, allowing them to be transported to new locations. The seeds are also an important food source for wildlife, including birds and small mammals.
Showy tick trefoil is often used in prairie and meadow restorations, as well as in pollinator gardens, due to its attractive flowers and its value as a food source for wildlife. It can also be used as a forage crop for livestock, as it is high in protein and minerals. Additionally, some Native American tribes used the plant for medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for respiratory ailments and as a poultice for skin irritations.
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Scientific Name: DESMODIUM CANADENSE
Common Name: SHOWY TICK TREFOIL
Plant Type: Perennials
Native Range: Eastern North America
Full Growth Height: 2-6 ft
Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Blooming Season: Summer, Fall
Pollinators: Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Sun
Flower Color: Purple
Water Requirement: Moderate
Soil Type: Sand, Loam, Clay
Uses: Pollinator Gardens, Decorations Purposes