Desmodium fernaldii

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Common name: Fernald's Ticktrefoil [1]

Desmodium fernaldii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Desmodium
Species: D. fernaldii
Binomial name
Desmodium fernaldii
G.B. Schub
Natural range of Desmodium fernaldii from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Meibomia rhombifolia Vail.[2]

Varieties: none.[2]


D. fernaldii is a perennial forb/herb of the Fabaceae family native to North America. [1] Leaves alternate, trifoliate and pinnately shaped, ovate leaflets, and stipules deltate. Inflorescence is terminal and can be unbranched or branched. Flower has purple corolla with lobes either equal or slightly longer than the tube. Fruits sinuate above in segments between 2 and 5, and convex above, angled below. Roots are perennial.[3]


D. fernaldii can be found along the southeastern coast of the United States from Texas to Maryland. [1]



D. fernaldii proliferates in sandhills, dry flatwoods, and woodland borders. [1] Specimens have been collected from open sand ridge, annually burned upland pineland, loamy sands of pine-oak woodland, and longleaf pine woods. [4] It prefers shade to part shade, and dry soil moisture.[5] In Alabama, it is uncommon but can be found in open woodlands, sandhills, old fields, and roadsides.[3]


Flowering time of D. fernaldii is between June and September.[6] It has been observed to flower in October. [7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Woods, M. (2008). "The genera Desmodium and Hylodesmum (Fabaceae) in Alabama." Castanea 73(1): 46-69.
  4. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: A.F. Clewell, Loran C. Anderson. States and counties: Florida (Leon, Escambia) Georgia (Thomas)
  5. [[1]] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: April 25, 2019
  6. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  7. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 21 MAY 2018