Showy Tick Trefoil is a member of the legume family that sports bright pink to rose purple flowers in summer. The flower panicle is at the end of the stem and very showy. The plant is very bushy and can be used in the landscape for its shrub form. Planted in mass it creates a spectacular sight at the rear of a garden or in a meadow. Singly it is a wonderful specimen plant.
Showy tick trefoil attracts many insects including bumble bees and other native bees. It is the host plant for two butterflies, Eastern Tailed Blue and Gray Hairstreak. It is a host plant for several moths and skippers. Mammals, deer, rabbit and rodents will enjoy this plant. Birds will eat the seeds. The seeds have tiny hairs that attached themselves to you and other animals to “catch a ride” to new areas.
Showy tick trefoil is highly adaptable and is at home in prairies, steam banks and roadsides. The roots like other legumes have nitrogen fixing nodules on them. It grows best in full to part sun.
Good companions are Black Eyed Susan, Oxeeye Sunflowers, grasses, Queen of the Prairie and Joe Pye Weed.
Desmodium canadense, Showy Tick Trefoil
Number of plants
- Bright pink to purplish panicles of tubular flowers
- Flower in the summer
- Provides food for pollinators
- Host plant for two butteries, skipper and some moths
- Height: 3 to 4 feet
- Zones: 3 to 8