Desmodium (weeds)

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Desmodium tortuosum (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Forest & Kim Starr
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Desmodium (weeds) Desv. - (beggarweed)

The genus contains around 300 species of leguminous herbs, shrubs and some small trees. They are called beggarweed or tick-trefoil. They are found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. The seed pods tend to break up and have hooked hairs, with the individual seeds readily sticking to fur and clothes (beggar lice seeds). Some species are useful as forage or medicinal plants. However, a few are agricultural weeds. For example, Florida beggarweed (Desmodium tortuosum) is often a problem in south-eastern North America, affecting crops like ground-nuts, cotton and soybeans.


Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: