For Your Garden - April 2020
Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense
Photo © John Hilty
Showy tick trefoil is also known as Canada tick trefoil. This perennial herb has leaves in an alternate arrangement along the stems. Each of these compound leaves has three, long, oval leaflets. The five‐petaled, pink, blue or violet flowers develop in clusters at the top of a leafy, hairy stem. Each flower may be one‐half inch in length. The fruit is a hairy seedpod. Showy tick trefoil may attain a height of two to six feet. This species may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows in thickets, dry to moist prairies and lake edges. Flowers are produced from July through September.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.