Tick Trefoil, Illinois

Botanical Name Desmodium illinoense
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period June-September
Flower Color Pink


Illinois Tick Trefoil is a member of the bean family that grows from 2-5 feet in height. Distribution lays within the central portion of North America from Texas to the Great Lake region. It does best when growing in full sun and loamy soils in grasslands and shrubby areas where native prairie remnants occur. Blooming in June-September, each plant will stay in bloom up to 3 weeks as only a few of the purple flowers will be in bloom at a time. Flowers are replaced with segmented peapods that are covered in hairs that assist the seed in dispersal by clinging to passing clothing or fur. With the proper rhizobia, Illinois Tick Trefoil will fixate nitrogen into the soil to help with soil fertility.

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