Illinois Tick Trefoil (Desmodium illinoense)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Illinois Tick Trefoil
Give a thumbs up Tick-trefoil
Give a thumbs up Illinois tick-trefoil
Give a thumbs up Illinois ticktrefoil

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 3 feet is the norm, but can grow taller in ideal conditions
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Adding inoculant to seeds will improve the overall health of the plant
Pollinators: Bumblebees

Fully opened flowers.

Photo gallery:

Comments:
Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Aug 12, 2015 3:23 PM

This pretty little flower is a member of the pea family. It attracts bumblebees and leaf-cutter beesm which pollinate it, and a wide variety of insects that will eat the leaves, stems, and seeds. The seeds are a food source for quail and turkey, and the leaves are eaten by rabbits, deer, and other mammals. In the wild this plant will be more often found in prairies, unlike its cousin, the Showy Tick Trefoil, which can be found in wooded areas. I have both plants, so I hope the different preferred habitats will prevent too many hybrids from running around.

I like the name and its seed distribution system. The seeds act like ticks, attaching themselves to whatever creature passes by.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Chicagoland Annual garden swap 2017 by oerickson Aug 25, 2017 10:41 AM 303
Wildlife Attractant by Chillybean Aug 6, 2015 12:19 PM 0

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