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For Your Garden - April 2020

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense)
Photo © John Hilty

Showy tick trefoil is also known as Canada tick trefoil. This perennial herb has leaves in an alternate arrangement along the stems. Each of these compound leaves has three, long, oval leaflets. The five‐petaled, pink, blue or violet flowers develop in clusters at the top of a leafy, hairy stem. Each flower may be one‐half inch in length. The fruit is a hairy seedpod. Showy tick trefoil may attain a height of two to six feet. This species may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows in thickets, dry to moist prairies and lake edges. Flowers are produced from July through September.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae

Illinois Status: common, native