Not native to Florida
A frequent perennial of open hammocks and disturbed sites throughout nearly all of Florida. Also introduced in Georgia and Texas. Native to Mexico, the Caribbean and other tropical areas worldwide.
This wildflower can be erect or prostrate. The alternate leaves have three elliptic leaflets 2-10cm (3/4 to 4 in.) long with distinctive lighter coloring around the midrib. The undersides of the leaflets are densely hairy. The pinkish-purple flowers appear in both terminal and axillary racemes. Flowers are 6mm (1/4 in.) long and consist of a standard petal, often with two yellow spots lined with a thin dark reddish band arising from the base. There are also two lateral wing petals and two lower keel petals, often positioned between the wings. The inflorescence axis, or peduncle, is either glabrous or purberulent, but not pilose. The fruit is a segmented loment, with each of the three to nine segments 3mm (1/8 in.) wide and 6mm (1/4 in.) long.
The species name incanum is Latin for grey-haired and refers to the pubescence on the underside of the leaves.
This species is very similar to Desmodium canum of the Bahamas and Cuba, except that species, known as wild granite, has solid green on the uppersides of the leaves.
Desmodium incanum is a member of the Fabaceae - Pea family.
Other species of the Desmodium genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Desmodium obtusum - STIFF TICKTREFOIL
Desmodium triflorum - THREEFLOWER TICKTREFOIL
Date record last modified: Oct 13, 2020