Image for Showy Tick Trefoil

Showy Tick Trefoil

Scientific name

Desmodium canadense


Showy Tick Trefoil is an erect wildflower that grows about 1 m in height. This species has a hairy, green, central stem, and once mature, it has flowering side branches present on the top half of the plant. The leaves are alternately arranged, compound, and made of 3 oblong to lance-shaped leaflets that have hairy undersides. The flowers are showy, purplish pink coloured, and contain an upper and lower petal which are initially folded in, but eventually open up. Showy Tick Trefoil's root system contains nitrogen fixing bacteria, converting atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form and increasing this nutrients availability in the soil, which can be beneficial for other nearby plants. The flowers are beneficial to pollinator species, like bees and butterflies. The seeds are also beneficial to wildlife species, like birds and small mammals.

Planting conditions

Showy Tick Trefoil grows best in normal to moist conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It prefers organically rich humus or loam but can grow in a variety of soil types. It can naturally be found in moist meadows and fields, in prairies, and along stream or lake shorelines, in both dry and moist meadows, and along forest edges.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Drought Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Wildflower
  • Eco Zone:
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Wildflower
  • Height:
    • 1 m
  • Spread:
    • 1 m