Beggar Lice, Beggar's Ticks, Panicled Tick Trefoil, Perplexed Tick Trefoil
Desmodium perplexum

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Desmodium (des-MOH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: perplexum (per-PLEKS-um) (Info)
Synonym:Desmodium paniculatum var. dillenii
Synonym:Desmodium dillenii
Synonym:Meibomia dillenii

Category:

Perennials

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Blue-Violet

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cole Camp, Missouri

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Feb 17, 2009, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

From the Illinois Wildflower site:

"This Tick Trefoil species can produce large panicles of small flowers that are rather showy. It is one of the Desmodium spp. that blooms later in the year than many others. Unfortunately, it has been re-classified by taxonomists on several occasions, which may be the reason for the 'perplexum' in its scientific name. In some older sources of information, this plant is referred to as Desmodium dillenii and Desmodium glabellum. However, Desmodium glabellum is now considered a separate species with an appearance that is quite similar to Perplexing Tick Trefoil, while Desmodium dillenii is considered a defunct classification. Presumably, Desmodium perplexum and Desmodium glabellum can be distinguished as follows: 1) the former species has a fa... read more