Join us for our next Pasture Walk May 30, 2024!

Showy Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canadense

Foliage eaten by herbivores, seeds by small animals, and pollen & nectar by many pollinators



For quantity discount pricing, request a quote.


Desmodium canadensealso known as Showy Tick Trefoil, is a native perennial legume that grows to about 3′ tall.

Wildlife notes

The most important visitors of the flowers are long-tongued bees, including bumblebees.  Japanese beetles relish the flowering stems, which can weaken this plant enough to interfere with the formation of seedpods.  This plant is highly edible to various mammalian herbivores, including deer, rabbits, and groundhogs. Some upland gamebirds and small rodents eat the seeds, including the Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkey, White-Footed Mouse, and Woodland Deer Mouse. The seedpods can cling to the fur of mammals, causing this plant to spread into new areas.

Forage notes

Highly palatable to livestock.

Landscaping notes

Showy Tick Trefoil prefers full or partial sun, and moist to mesic conditions. A loamy soil with some organic matter is perfectly fine.  This plant increases the nitrogen content of the soil by means of root nodules. Showy Tick Trefoil is more attractive when it occurs in colonies, rather than as isolated plants.

Restoration notes

Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, moist meadows along rivers, borders of lakes, thickets, limestone glades, and areas along railroads where prairie remnants occur.

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun

Seeding Rate

6 bulk lbs/acre


Average, Moist



Bloom Month

Jul, Aug



Specialty Uses


Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.