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Showy Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canadense

Showy Tick Trefoil is an erect wildflower that grows about 1 m in height. This species has a hairy, green, central stem, and once mature, it has flowering side branches present on the top half of the plant. The leaves are alternately arranged, compound, and made of 3 oblong to lance-shaped leaflets that have hairy undersides. The flowers are showy, purplish pink coloured, and contain an upper and lower petal which are initially folded in, but eventually open up. Showy Tick Trefoil's root system contains nitrogen fixing bacteria, converting atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form and increasing this nutrients availability in the soil, which can be beneficial for other nearby plants. The flowers are beneficial to pollinator species, like bees and butterflies. The seeds are also beneficial to wildlife species, like birds and small mammals.

Showy Tick Trefoil grows best in normal to moist conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It prefers organically rich humus or loam but can grow in a variety of soil types. It can naturally be found in moist meadows and fields, in prairies, and along stream or lake shorelines, in both dry and moist meadows, and along forest edges.

Scientific Name: Desmodium canadense
Type: Ground Cover
Height: 1 m
Spread: 1 m
Moisture Level: moist
Light Conditions: full sun, part sun
Soil Conditions: sand, loam, acidic
Zone (Hardiness of Canada):