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Highlands Center for Natural History - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Desmodium grahamii - Graham's ticktrefoil

Synonyms: Meibomia grahamii
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Fabaceae

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Flower spike
Highlands Center for Natural History
Flower buds
Highlands Center for Natural History
Highlands Center for Natural History
Highlands Center for Natural History
Plant - summer
Highlands Center for Natural History
Highlands Center for Natural History
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Growth pattern is sprawling to 2 feet forming a ground cover. Viney in appearance with sticky, reddish, hairy stems.
Identification notes: The larger size of the trifoliate leaves and the fruits that are less deeply notched above than below distinguish this species from other Desmodium species.
Height: 15 inches


Habitat Description: Clearings in pine woods and hillsides.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 4500 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pink     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: The outer lobes are light pink while the inner lobes have a darker pink color. Can turn purple with age. Pea-shaped to 3/8 inch long. Stamens project forward. Flowers cluster in an upright raceme in leaf axils and terminal.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Round or Oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Has trifoliate leaves. Leaflets are slightly curved upward to 2 inches long. Leaflets are hairy on both upper and lower surfaces.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green and black or brown   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Fruit is hairy, light green in color and appears bead-like with 3 to 5 joints. Fruit is compressed between seeds.
Seed Notes: Has 3 to 10 seeds per fruit. Seeds are ovoid to rounded in outline with a smooth surface. Seed colors include olive, brown, or black.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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