Wooden Surface

Desmodium canadense

Desmodium canadense comes by its common name honestly.  Showy tick trefoil is indeed rather showy, with tall spikes of pink-purple blossoms clustered on stems covered in fine white hairs.


With a height around 3 feet, the showy tick trefoil stands out in the garden, first with the flowers that bloom in the summer, and then with the interestingly shaped seed pods that remain. These seed pods may hitch a ride on your clothes or in your pet’s fur, so keep an eye out for that.


One of the most important aspects of this plant is the benefit it has for long-tongued bees, bumblebees, and leafcutters as they are able to access the pollen available.


ECO-TYPE: grown from seed originally from Helia Native Nursery, western MA. 


ALL ONLINE ORDERS WILL BE READY FOR PICK-UP 72 HOURS AFTER PURCHASE. We kindly ask that you pick-up any orders within one week of purchase. See more pick-up info here.

Desmodium canadense (Showy tick trefoil)

  • details


    1/2 quart pot


    herbaceous perennial

    sun needs:

    full sun, part sun/part shade

    water needs:

    dry, average, moist

    height: 5'
    plant spacing: 1/sq ft
    bloom time: July, August
    bloom color: purple, pink
  • good plant companions

    silky aster, leadplant, butterflyweed, Culver's root

  • special notes

    deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)
    salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur.