File Size: 58 KB
Desmodium canadense   (L. ) DC.
Ellsworth County, Kansas
Height: 2-7 feet
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Also Called: Showy tick-trefoil.
Stems: Erect, often clustered, usually simple below inflorescence, branched above, finely hooked-hairy and soft-hairy above.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate; stalk .8 to 1.2 inches long below to only 1/12 inch above; stipules tapering to points, .2 to .4 inch long, ridged, finely pubescent; leaflets of mid-stem leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 1.8 to 4.2 inches long; upper surface finely hooked-hairy and appressed soft-hairy; lower surface appressed soft-hairy and paler; margins fringed; tip blunt to short-pointed; base rounded.
Inflorescences: Raceme, panicle-like, 8 to 12 inches long, densely flowered, terminal; bracts conspicuous at flowering, lance-ovate, 1/6 to 2/5 inch long, soon dropping.
Flowers: Papilionaceous, showy, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, red-violet, fading to dark blue; stalks 1/5 to 1/3 inch long; calyx 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, 2-lipped; upper 2 lobes united for most of length; lower 3 lobes separate; stamens 10, 9 united, 1 free.
Fruits: Pod, flat, about 1 inch long, densely covered with hooked-hairs; segments 1 to 5, rounded, one side more deeply indented; seeds 1 in each segment, about 1/6 inch long,smooth, brown.
Habitat: Rocky or sandy prairies, stream valleys, open woods, ravines, spring branches, open thickets, roadsides, waste places; moist soil.
Distribution: East 2/3 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Livestock will eat young plants. It will disappear under heavy grazing.
Comments: The seeds are scattered when the hooked hairs on the pods cling to animals passing by.

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