|Photo taken by Kevin Robertson|
|Division:||Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants|
|Class:||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons|
|Family:||Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae|
|Natural range of Desmodium strictum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.|
Common names: Pine Barren Tick-trefoil; Pineland Tick-trefoil
Synonym: Meibomia stricta (Pursh) Kuntze
Generally, for Desmodium genus, they are "annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or small trees. Leaves 1-5 foliolate, pinnately 3-foliolate in ours or rarely the uppermost or lowermost 1-foliolate; leaflets entire, usually stipellate; stipules caduceus to persistent, ovate to subulate, foliaceous to setaceous, often striate. Inflorescence terminal and from the upper axils, paniculate or occasionally racemose; pedicel of each papilionaceous flower subtended by a secondary bract or bractlet, the cluster of 1-few flowers subtended by a primary bract. Calyx slightly to conspicuously 2-lipped, the upper lip scarcely bifid, the lower lip 3-dentate; petals pink, roseate, purple, bluish or white; stamens monadelphous or more commonly diadelphous and then 9 and 1. Legume a stipitate loment, the segments 2-many or rarely solitary, usually flattened and densely uncinated-pubescent, separating into 1-seeded, indehiscent segments." 
Specifically, for D.strictum species, they are "erect perennial; stems 0.5-1.2 m tall, sparsely to densely uncinulate-puberulent and short-pubescent, often becoming glabrate below. Terminal leaflets linear to narrowly oblong, often 6-10 X as long as wide, 3-7 cm long, glabrate or minutely puberulent or sparsely short-pubescent especially along the veins beneath, fine reticulate; stipules linear-subulate, 2-4 mm long; stipels persistent. Inflorescence usually paniculate, densely uncinulate-puberulent; pedicels (4) 6-11 mm long. Calyx densely puberulent and sparsely short-pubescent; petals purplish, 3-5 mm long, stamens diadelphous. Loments of 1-3 suborbicular to weakly obovate segments, each 4-6 mm long, 3-4 mm broad, upper suture of each segment slightly concave or indented, densely uncinlate-puberulent on both sutures and sides; stipe 1-2 mm long, about as long as calyx but shorter than stamina remnants." 
D. strictum is native to the United States from south New Jersey down to south Florida and west to western Louisiana.
Generally, D. strictum can be found in dry woodlands and sandhills. It thrives in open, frequently burned areas such as longleaf pine and shortleaf pine old field habitats (ultisols).   It also occurs in longleaf pine-turkey oak sandhills (entisols), and in longleaf pine and slash pine flatwoods (spodosols). It occurs in habitats dominated by ultisol soil types with average temperatures from 11 to 27° Celsuis, and with 132 cm of annual rainfall.  In florida, D. strictum is an indicator species of the clayhill longleaf woodlands community. It is seen in habitats with soil types of sandy loam to eroded sandy clayey areas.  It prefers to grow in either partial shade or full shade. Outside of the southeast coastal plain, D. strictum can be found in upland pitch pine barrens in New Jersey. D. strictum responds positively to soil disturbance as observed from old field longleaf communities in South Carolina. It also responds positively to soil disturbance by agriculture, indicating post-agricultural woodland. D. strictum responds both positively and not at all to soil disturbance by roller chopping in Northwest Florida sandhills.
Associated species include D. viridiflorum, D. floridanum, D. glabellum, D. canescens, D. marilandicum, Aristida stricta, Pinus palutris, and P. elliotii. 
D. strictum generally flowers from July through August and fruits from August through October. It has been observed to flower from September to October with peak inflorescence in October, and fruit from September to November.
This species is thought to be dispersed by translocation on animal fur or feathers. 
Seed bank and germination
Because Desmodium strictum lacks a hard seed coat, is not capable of forming long-term persistent seed banks, and rather germinates readily within one year following dispersal.
Use by animals
This species consists of approximately 10-25% of the diet for large mammals and terrestrial birds.
Conservation and management
D. strictum is listed as endangered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Cultivation and restoration
References and notes
- Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 604-9. Print.
- Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
- Coffey, K. L. and L. K. Kirkman (2006). "Seed germination strategies of species with restoration potential in a fire-maintained pine savanna." Natural Areas Journal 26: 289-299.
- Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: L. C. Anderson, R. K. Godfrey, V. Sullivan, J. Wooten, R. Kral, James R. Ray Jr., John Morrill, Robert L. Lazor, Andre F. Clewell, and T. MacClendon. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Bradford, Franklin, Gadsden, Hernando, Jackson, Leon, Putnam, Taylor, Wakulla, and Walton. Georgia: Baker, Grady, and Thomas.
- Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
- [] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: April 26, 2019
- [] NatureServe Explorer. Accessed: April 26, 2019
- Brudvig, L.A. and E.I. Damchen. (2011). Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition. Ecography 34: 257-266.
- Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.
- Hebb, E.A. (1971). Site Preparation Decreases Game Food Plants in Florida Sandhills. The Journal of Wildlife Management 35(1):155-162.
- Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 26 APR 2019
- Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
- Kush, J. S., et al. (2000). Understory plant community response to season of burn in natural longleaf pine forests. Proceedings 21st Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture & vegetation management, Tallahassee, FL, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.
- Miller, J.H., and K.V. Miller. 1999. Forest plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses. Southern Weed Science Society.
- USDA, NRCS. (2016). The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 26 April 2019). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.