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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Beggarlice (Desmodium spp.)

Beggarlice, Genus Desmodium, are herbaceous perennials that may grow 2 to 4 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and trifoliate with hooked hairs on the underside. Flowers vary in color from white to violet. The herb produces a triangular seed that sticks like a tick.


Host plant for Silver-Spotted Skipper, Hoary Edge, Northern Cloudywing, Southern Cloudywing, Gray Hairstreak, and Eastern Tailed-Blue butterflies. Seeds serve as food source for songbirds, quail, and small mammals in the winter. Flowers are attractive to some pollinators.

Plant Type Herb/Wildflower
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance Moderate
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Soil Moist, Dry
Bloom Times Late Summer
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Seed or Nut, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension