pointed-leaved tick-trefoil

(Hylodesmum glutinosum)

Conservation Status
pointed-leaved tick-trefoil
Photo by Kirk Nelson
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


The leaf is divided into three broadly oval leaflets that taper to a distinct long point. The leaves are clustered at one point beneath the inflorescence, making them appear whorled.

The inflorescence is at the tip of a long stalk at the end of the stem.

The fruit/seed pod is usually divided into 2 or 3 rounded, triangular segments, sometimes 1, sometimes 4.




24 to 60, usually 36 or less


Flower Color


Pink to pale purple, or white


Similar Species

  Bare-stemmed tick trefoil (Desmodium nudiflorum) inflorescence is on a long, leafless stalk rising from the ground.  

Moist to moderately dry. Woodland paths, railways, roadways. Rich soil. Partial sun to medium shade.




July to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  


Fabaceae (legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae  
  Tribe Desmodieae  
  Subtribe Desmodiinae  
  Genus Hylodesmum  

This species was formerly classified as Desmodium glutinosum. A recent redescription of section (or subgenus) Podocarpium of the genus Desmodium (Ohashi and Mill, 2000) proposed moving fourteen species in the Podocarpium section to a new genus Hylodesmum. Most of the species occur in China, but three occur in North America. The proposal was widely but not universally accepted. ITIS and USDA PLANTS continue to use the name Desmodium glutinosum.


Subordinate Taxa






Desmodium acuminatum

Meibomia acuminata

Meibomia grandiflora


Common Names


cluster-leaf tick-trefoil

largeflower tickclover

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil

pointedleaf ticktrefoil

trefoil tickclover











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Kirk Nelson



    pointed-leaved tick-trefoil      

Flower close-up

    pointed-leaved tick-trefoil      
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos


    pointed-leaved tick-trefoil      


    pointed-leaved tick-trefoil   pointed-leaved tick-trefoil  


    pointed-leaved tick-trefoil      






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  Kirk Nelson

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Fairly abundant. I learned that this plant produces seed pods that stick to your clothes

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil  
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