Desmodium viridiflorum (Linnaeus) A.P.
Fabaceae (Bean) Family
The leaves are alternate, petiolate, and trifoliate. The leaflets are ovate to rhombic or deltoid in outline, moderately pubescent above and velvety pubescent below. The margins are entire and both surfaces of the leaf have hooked hairs.
The flowers are produced in an open panicle. The branches of the panicle are pubescent and have hooked hairs. Flowers are papilionaceous in shape (resembles a small butterfly) and lavender in color. The standard petal has two spots of white and yellow at its base. The flowers become blue in color as they age.
Fruit is a loment (segmented pod) with 4-6 segments; one seed per segment; pubescent with hooked hairs.
Velvet-leaf Tick Trefoil is one of the larger members of the genus in Alabama. Plants are commonly called beggars lice because of the fruit segments that adhere to clothing or fur with their hooked hairs.
The foliage of Velvet-leaf Tick Trefoil is browsed by deer and the seed are eaten by Bobwhite Quail and other birds.