Showy Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canadense

Also called Canada Tick Trefoil, Beggars Lice, Stick Tights

  • Spikes of pink to lavender sweet-pea-like flower clusters
  • Velvety hairs cover the stems and the tri-lobed compound leaves
  • This drought-tolerant plant can be grown on rooftops with as little as 15 cm of growing medium
  • Part of the pea or legume family, fixing nitrogen from the air
  • Bloom Time: Midsummer to early fall



100-150 cm

50-60 cm

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Growing and Maintenance Tips:

Grows in a well-drained soil, in full sun. Highly adaptable and may take over small gardens. Naturally found in open woods, rocky or sandy prairies, roadsides, along railroads and waste places. Established plants are very drought-tolerant due to their deep taproots. 

Additional Notes about Showy Tick Trefoil:

Native to Ontario

When potential pollinators land on a flower, the petals close on the insect. The flower shoots pollen over the pollinator's body to ensure pollination of the next flower visited. 

Seeds are held in hairy pods and dispersed by sticking to animals' fur (and hikers' clothing).