Desmodium incanum

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The Desmodium incanum of many older sources is actually Desmodium laxiflorum; see below.

Desmodium incanum
Starr 050419-0333 Desmodium incanum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Desmodium
Species: D. incanum
Binomial name
Desmodium incanum

Desmodium canum Schinz & Thell.

Desmodium incanum, known as creeping beggarweed or Spanish clover/tick-trefoil, is a perennial plant native to Central and South America. It is sometimes considered a weed, and has spread through Florida and across the southern USA into southern Texas and across many Pacific islands; for example on Hawaiʻi it is known as Kaimi clover or by the Hawaiian name kaʻimi ("The Seeker").

There has been long-standing confusion about the correct scientific name. This was long held to be Desmodium canum, and therefore for quite some time D. incanum was believed to be the correct name for the plant today called Desmodium laxiflorum.[1]

It has branched runners for reproduction. Its leaves are elliptic in shape and are hairy, and its flowers are pink to rose in color. Very frustrating in agriculture are its seedpods. When ripe they easily break off from the plant and due to their tiny hairs they stick to any rough surface. The skin and hairs of an animal for example. Or the clothing of the person who walks through them. And every pod is to pull out separately one by one afterwards.

The name "Spanish Clover" can also refer to Lotus purshianus, a native pea of California.


  1. ^ ILDIS (2005)


  • International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS) (2005): Genus Desmodium. Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 2007-DEC-17.

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