Identification Helps: Plants to 4 or 5 ft, with pink flowers and bean-like leaves or three leaflets. Fruits are chains of 3 to 5 segmented pods, so-called "stick-tights" that adhere to clothing.
There are a number of other Desmodium species on Ohio prairies, but none are so common or so tall.
Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild: Showy Tick Trefoil grows in a variety of prairie soils, from dry to moist conditions. The species is more often found on disturbed prairies, and often in non-prairie old field habitats.
Preferred Soils: The species grows in a variety of soil textures and moisture contents.
Seasons of Growth and Bloom: This forb blooms from July through October.
Natural Distribution in Ohio: Showy tick trefoil grows naturally across most of Ohio.
Description and General Information:Showy tick trefoil is a prominent prairie legume, and as such, helps create fixed nitrogen in prairie soils.