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Round-Leaved Tick Trefoil, Round-Leaved Trailing Tick-Trefoil, Prostrate Ticktrefoil, Dollarleaf - Desmodium rotundifolium


Family: Fabaceae - Pea family Genus Common Name: Ticktrefoil Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Desmodium rotundifolium - Round-Leaved Tick Trefoil, Round-Leaved Trailing Tick-Trefoil, Prostrate Ticktrefoil, Dollarleaf. Desmodium is a large genus of about 700 species worldwide, with perhaps 75 species in the United States. Desmodium rotundifolium is found in about half of the United States; it is Threatened in New Hampshire and Vermont. Desmodiums are known as Tick Clover, Tick Trefoils (for their three leaflet leaves) and Beggars Lice, due to their sticky seeds which attach themselves to clothing, socks, and animal fur.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV

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Desmodium rotundifolium

Distribution of Desmodium rotundifolium in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-05Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The Desmodium rotundifolium blossoms are a pink- to blue-purple color. The banner petal has a pair of white marks surrounded by a dark purple marking at the base of each lobe. Based on my limited observation, the stamens and pistil are initially hidden within the wing and keel petals.
Desmodium rotundifolium

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
As with most Desmodium, the filaments of 9 of the 10 stamens are fused into a tube surrounding the green pistil and the 10th stamen (stamens are "diadelphous".) Based on my limited observation, this structure is initially hidden within the wing and keel petals, but emerges as the blossom ages.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Desmodium rotundifolium

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Click on the photo for a larger image
Desmodium rotundifolium

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Desmodium rotundifolium has a prostrate vine-like stem up to about 3 feet long. The inflorescence arises from the leaf nodes, with the peduncle being erect. The stem is bristly-hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Desmodium rotundifolium

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The fruit pod is a loment with usually three but as many as 7 segments. They are covered with sticky hairs which attach to animal fur (and human clothing) for dispersement.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Desmodium rotundifolium

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer