Cream Tick-trefoil / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Cream Tick-trefoil (Desmodium ochroleucum)

Photo Credit: Matthew Albrecht
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: AL, FL, GA, MD, MO, MS, TN
  • Nature Serve ID: 129120
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 11/27/2018

Where is Cream Tick-trefoil (Desmodium ochroleucum) located in the wild?

States & Provinces:

Cream Tick-trefoil can be found in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee

Which CPC Partners conserve Cream Tick-trefoil (Desmodium ochroleucum)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Tina Stanley
  • 07/14/2022
  • Seed Collection

As of July 2022, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative had collected 1 accession of Desmodium ochroleucum from populations in Tennessee.

Tina Stanley
  • 07/14/2022
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

As of July 2022, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative holds 5 maternal lines from 1 accession (wild provenance only) totaling 11 seeds.

Noah Dell & Matthew Albrecht (transcribed by Katie Heineman)
  • 09/03/2019
  • Propagation Research

A germination test using 5 seeds from bulk collection (2 brown and 3 green) revealed that all seeds had developed physical dormancy, as they did not imbibe water without scarification. Seeds were first scarified on the opposite side of the hilum.  After scarification by making a small incision in the seed coat and incubating the seeds for a week in a temperature cycle of 20 °C daytime and 10 °C nighttime temperatures and 12 hours of light per day no seeds had germinated. Seeds were then scarified again near the radicle and placed back in the same chamber, but still showed no sign of germination. All five seeds have since been moved into a warmer growth chamber, with 30 °C temperatures during the day and 20°C temperatures at night. If warmer temperatures do not promote growth, then it is possible that these seeds require cold stratification or are non-viable.   

Noah Dell & Matthew Albrecht (transcribed by Katie Heineman)
  • 09/03/2019
  • Seed Collection Orthodox Seed Banking

Missouri Botanical Garden collected seed in September 2018 from one occurrence in Perry County, Tennessee. Most plants present in the population were reproductive and had either dispersed or aborted fruits already or had some fruits on the stalks that were likely slightly immature, being green to light brown. Two individuals were seen with withered flowers still present. Common plants in the woodlands and surrounding the road included Quercus meuhlenbergiiJuniperus virgnianaAcer saccharumOstrya virginianaDesmodium rotundifoliumLespedeza cuneata, and Brickellia eupatrioides.


In all, Missouri Botanic Garden collected from 19 maternal lines (not counting bulk collection), yielding 259 seeds from 16 plants (273 seeds including bulk collection from a few of the largest seed producers) from the Perry County Population in September 2018. Three plants had no seeds that could be recovered, because the seed was either aborted or had been predated by weevils. In total, there were 139 recoverable seeds, of which 75 were brown seeds and 67 were at least somewhat green. Weevil damage was prevalent among seeds, with all but three plants exhibiting signs of predation.


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Taxon Desmodium ochroleucum
Authority M.A. Curtis ex Canby
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 14156
ITIS 25814
Duration Perennial
Common Names Cream ticktrefoil
Associated Scientific Names Desmodium ochroleucum
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama S1S2
Florida S1
Georgia S1
Maryland S1
Missouri SH
Mississippi S1
Tennessee S1
Ecological Relationships


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