DILLEN'S TICK-CLOVER
File Size: 39 KB
 
Desmodium perplexum  B. G. Schub.
[=Desmodium paniculatum  (L. ) DC.  var. dillenii  (J. Darl. ) Isley]
Morris County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 20-60 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Stems: Ascending to erect, usually branched above, sparsely to densely pilose, often also with minute hooked hairs.
Leaves: Alternate, odd-pinnately compound, stipules narrowly lanceolate to linear, 1/12 to 1/4 inch long, less than 1/25 inch wide; petiole .6 to 2 inches; leaflets 3, ovate to broadly elliptic or lanceolate, base rounded to truncate, margins entire, tip obtuse to acute, surfaces sparsely to moderately spreading-pubescent, veins of lower surface not conspicuously raised; terminal leaflet 1.2 to 2.75 inches long, .4 to 1.6 inch wide; lateral leaflets .8 to 2.75 inches long, .4 to 1.6 inch wide.
Inflorescences: Racemes, axillary and terminal, branched; axis pilose and with minute hooked hairs; bracts ovate, 1/16 to 1/12 inch.
Flowers: Pedicels 1/6 to 1/3 inch; calyx cup-shaped, 1/8 to 1/6 inch; corolla papilionaceous, usually pink to lavender, .2 to .4 inch, often with lighter pair of spots at base of banner; stamens 10, united in two groups.
Fruits: Loments straight, segments (2-)3-5, triangular to rhombic in outline, margins obtusely angled abaxially, rounded to obtusely angled adaxially, .2 to .27 inch by .14 to .27 inch. Seeds 1 per segment, tan, ca. 1/6 inch, smooth.
Habitat: Floodplain, maple-basswood, oak-hickory, and post oak-black jack oak woodlands, thickets, tallgrass prairies, old fields, pastures, roadsides.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Comments: Desmodium, like a chain, alluding to the jointed legumes, and perplexum alluding to its perplexing taxonomy. Identification of Desmodium species can be difficult without the mature loments.

Dillen's tick-clover flowers
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Morris County, Kansas
Dillen's tick-clover leaf
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Morris County, Kansas
Dillen's tick-clover leaves
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Morris County, Kansas
Dillen's tick-clover leaves
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Morris County, Kansas
Dillen's tick-clover loment
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Morris County, Kansas
Dillen's tick-clover loment
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Morris County, Kansas